L.B. (1955-1979) Of that year I remember the soft gauzy Whitish lump of goat cheese going bad Like some alchemical disaster turning day To lead; the Cretan sun so much Minoan Bull-leapers' somersaulting glory; and you Looking down the long sluice of months Toward the metonymy of hospital walls, Gums dyeing your first Greek hours, Smearing the hope that brought you here For one last fling at life....Recovering From the flight, you pondered my room's Garish poster of Manhattan's skyline, Epic in black and white. You caught flaws In its silhouette only a native could, Seated before the memory of all you were. What height had you risked, Lloyd, to come From the bedridden gloom of Astoria, Queens, Just to face anachronistic splendor?—you Whose marrow I'd soon sift through fingers On a hillside far from any possible future: Snow's soot on a Catskill lake, after our Palms patted the silvered seam of earth down.
From The King's Question by Brian Culhane. Copyright © 2009 by Brian Culhane. Used by permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.