If they thought I was funny,
why did they have to say
I was funny?
Laughing, rubbing: crickets
out my window, under a
living room couch,
In Tulsa, nine. One standing almost
hands on his hips
Affirming the affirmative;
as if I had come to be right there—
a spectacular me—
Openly, freely, in response to a
grotesque incantation invitation.
In midsentence, he paused,
Pulled it together magically.
Thinkers after Goethe would say:
he collected himself
Through my joke, me bird-flapping
into the room out the pocket
of his jacket,
Where deep down grow memory holes
stealing all my good jokes:
we all get together.
This morning a dove ate from our feeder
next to a squirrel.
We thought he was a clean pigeon.
We’ll call him Charlie.
He’ll whisper shit dreams in my ear—
uniquely mine punchlines.
It is measurable.
The distance from a birdfeeder to
empty seed shells
from lingering recollections of place
I try to forget
I may not even have put right.