“Passion” by Alan Fox

Alan Fox


In my tender days
each new movie, book, or play,
every new acquaintance
was a jungle of possibility,
into which I dropped
dangling from my parachute
which floated ever downward on puffs of innocent joy.

I have long since landed.
Last night a friend, also planted on terra firma,
asked me, “What turns you on nowadays?”

The word which flashed into my mind was

Ouch! That won’t do.
There must be something.
Sex? Alas.
Money? I have more than enough.
Winning? It’s nine PM. I’m tired, even of winning.
What else? Been there, done that.

Then I remembered the picnic in Claremont months ago
where high school graduates and college freshmen mingled,
those I had helped in some way to enter colleges and universities—
Wesleyan, Yale, Harvey Mudd, Brown.

When I visit the community of these disparate
child/men, child/women, speaking different languages,
with so much yet to come—
Yes, their passion turns me on.

from Rattle #22, Winter 2004

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