I Can Never be 16 Again
and Wouldn’t Want to

Though there was that boy with Florida
Eyes who listened to strange, blue
Music yet smiled like a guiltless child.
A child with muscles, cool tennis shoes.
Football player, track runner, woods walker.
Rain chased him everywhere, across fields,
Over water. He couldn’t escape. Neither could I.
Not on the sail boat on Lake Springfield
Where we fell asleep, ever virgins, prom night.
Not in his dad’s blue-black Corvette, hugging
Back road curves through corn to Riverton.
Not in the woods on our backs looking up
Into yellow leafed hearts of giant oaks.
Not in the catfish slip of the Sangamon,
Dangling legs daring the river-cut cliff.
Not in my basement’s windowless dark
Where an endless kiss could end in salt.
And it did. We did. On the frontage road
Witnessed by headlights and stars.
I couldn’t hold the bruised cloud of him.
He drifted off, past Tallahassee, Atlanta,
Over the panhandle, casting a shadow
The shape of a boy all the way to Illinois.

2019

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