October 23, 2007

John Trudell

I remember in fifth grade, you gave me that album for sports cards.
You'd stocked it with football cards, which I found bizarre. I mean
who collects football cards? But you know, things change.

I don't collect football cards, I mean, but I change. And John, it's like
something changed when you gave me that. I've noticed a certain
squareness to my jaw, a widening of my forehead, and

Sometimes in fevers I've thought of you. The last thing I remember
about you was that album. I mean, I don't remember a thing
about you from that year after Christmas.

And we spent I think another six months together in that green-walled room,
with our ancient computers with Police Quest always running on them
and that kid with the shifty eyes,

what's-his-name, who was convinced you could get into the ladies' restroom,
and spent that whole schoolyear trying. But anyway, I mean,
in fevers sometimes I've thought of you

Playing the Detroit spaghetti circuit with your big band (go, Johnny, go!),
or watching the flames (hanging-on lines) burning away your family,
or just selling football cards

(but who buys them?)

sadly watching the passing years through a dusty window,
covered with yellowing posters and hand-lettered signs,
from a little storefront on Mack.

And I wonder if you went home to my house when that fifth-grade day was
over and I went home to yours, and we've been living
each other's lives ever since. I mean,

in fevers.


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