I miss you like
an old man misses the red-faced lad who cut his grass for years
before his wife died, and for years after her going, and who called him
pops and drank beers with him from a cooler between the lawn chairs, with evening
swimming on and the milky drippings of stars and the warm asthmatic silence. The pair would talk
in sighs, desiring or letting go, the chairs bearing them into the growing

“That must be Gawd,” the lad would say, and the old man would get weepy in the blue
dark, wiggling his toes inside the worn loafers. He missed the lad already, young and slipping
through the years, the paper route and the twine-pulled teeth behind him, maybe
some college soon, a pebble’s toss in that long hallway he was nearer
the beginning than the end of. The man wept unspeaking,
smiling, the beer sweet like apricot softening, sticking
to his lips. He missed that lad for his becoming, missed him like a satellite
in its mad orbit. He stares mottled through the yellow water of his eyes
and would to Gawd that he could keep the motes of years
from clinging to his shoulders.