“Crazy-Eights” by T. M. Cox

T. M. Cox


Today, I realized that no one
is going to live forever.
It started, I think, with a sharp
pang in the hinge of my fingers.
Arthritis is an old friend of
my family.
Hello, amigo.
What took you so long?

At the middle pivot of
my third decade riding the sphere,
odd aches and blemishes take on
a significance unknown in
past seasons.
It’s been too long since I’ve
walked in the rain,

head tilted back to catch
that baptism’s full force.
There is no trapeze swinging back
and forth in my blood.
I swore to myself that when
I reached thirty-five,
that most pathetic question,

“Where did it all go?” would never
come from my lips,
but it isn’t in the closet,
and it isn’t in the sink,
and it hasn’t washed away in the shower
because I would’ve noticed

the pipes clogging.
It went somewhere where I’m not.
Somewhere in this smoky room,
my eighth birthday floats lightly
as some invisible bird,
when a square of chocolate marked
a child as lord of creation.

Master of all the young,
green meadows
of the world.

from Rattle #17, Summer 2002

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