You have supported my consciousness, heart,
for over sixty-one years.
Tonight you've decided to do something different.
For over six decades quietly
you played Ravel's Bolero–
Now you're a wild man tapping so loud
Joplin's Elite Syncopations
I cannot sleep. (You will,
says the Sandman, bye-bye)
First I must thank you for feeding
the sham that says my in the brain,
no more real than the Wizard of Oz–
Where is that boy who first felt your power
reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
in the spring of 1952?
I remember feeling terrified:
this is my heart. I cannot control it–
Then how can this be my heart?
Then I almost completely forgot you.
Remember the night you raced over 100
when I gave Lynn Schildknecht a kiss?
You pumped yourself up during sex,
brought yourself down during sleep,
reliable as pulsars in between–
Thinking the tom-tom inside
isn't I, isn't I, isn't I
frightened a six year old child–
Now the thought that you might stop
worries me as much as waves
imagine themselves lost at sea–
So what if sick valves pingpong
an embolus to a wise brain?
Mine as well as anybody's,
thanks for underlying thought
for sixty plus difficult years; God,
where are you/where is he now?