Here’s my draft for today Thursday 05.23.19


black and whites sometimes speak
so bleakly of their subjects, despite a poser
attempting the much ballyhooed and valued
winning smile, whatever that is, I suppose
the opposite of a losing smile
which I think you’re defining right here
as the curse you will carry for as long
as this photograph shall live, until
death do you and this abject non-smile part

and if this photo should last interminably
into eternity, with half-safe keeping, this capture
of character, of custom, this static performance
permanently revealing such a frozen hardness
so thoughtful of what, I wonder, demonstrating
and foreshadowing the dark and dismal
other you we know and try hard to love so well
our Casanova want to be about to be here maybe
dark glasses and smoldering cigarette in hand

hell, I’m big now, I’ll grant you half a winning smile, okay
beloved enough, I swear, to hold you half-happy then
the champion of our split-second family, so tantalizing
to my memory, a nod to this human imperfection thing
and who am I, anyway — but you know, this really may be
the moment of the stealing of your soul, taking
the treacherous path opening before you — damn
let anger die through time and this constant viewing of you
precariously balanced on a pier over Lake Mendota

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