You ask me to tell you a story from Gods’ Man,
but I can’t take my eyes off your thick, wavy hair.
It drifts & twirls, lands like fresh snow onto your dark
brown sofa cushions. Onto your red wool sweater.
Remember how you & I danced at weddings &
bar mitzvahs? The first woodcut shows an artist
struggling in a storm at sea. Remember our balding
uncles, their tight shoes & shiny striped three-piece
suits from Zachary All? The artist gives his last coin
to a one-legged beggar, but I keep looking at your stark
white hair. Remember how our balding uncles danced
with platinum blond aunts in dark flowery polyester:
to every single platter from Elvis to the Stones,
the Beatles to the Bee-Gees? I watch your hair float
& swirl, watch it drift like ash onto your dark brown
sofa cushions. Onto your red wool sweater. The artist
strikes a bargain with a masked stranger, an auctioneer.
Further on, it seems the artist finds fame & gold-digging
women. Remember how you & I danced at weddings?
How our aunts went crazy over your wild mustache
& voluminous dark brown Afro sphere. Who knew
about illness then, about the toll of treatment—
this astonishing dance of your hair? Near the end
of the graphic novel, the so-called auctioneer removes
his mask for a portrait; I realize he’s the devil but
don’t want to tell you. So here’s real & poetic justice:
The artist pushes the auctioneer-devil into an abyss
between the shadowed, pointy cliffs of Lynd Ward’s
final woodcut. Then you & I dance like we used to—
rock ‘n’ roll, cha-cha-cha, & maybe some Tango Nuevo.