yo, norm macdonald said it’s not sentimental if it’s true

& I kept it for later, because joe loves that shit &
he doesn’t think anyone truly knows him but sometimes
all you have to do is watch: joe moves with purpose,
skin holding him in until he’s decided – like,
by some sheer tyranny of will, he changed the laws of motion,
because I can’t remember ever seeing him trip. & it’s not grace
so much as intent. it’s not anything so much as
joe bringing us spaghetti in sandwich bags, because he can
& it’s a good story, & it’s all about the delivery, except
when he’s telling me about love, he looks around
like the reasons will be hidden out here with us, easter eggs
aching to be found & broken open or maybe just broken
in a way that makes sense. but look, the debate of authenticity & joe
swinging too high in a park at 1 am & cold plums in the fridge –
it’s all there, right out in the open. & yes,
it is simple – when he reads even the grass quits its shuffling
to listen because his second word starts before the first
has finished dragging its feet, not nearly a drawl, but
you couldn’t fit a sideways dime between his words knamean?
but there’s no rush to it either, so I make him read me anne sexton
at the end of the semester, all the time really, just to hear
the blues of it – one horn fading into something
different before you’re ready to hear it end & the next
beating it anyway, the even slide home to the bell brace.

[Spring, 2015]

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