Spring 2014 – Vol. 3
by Adam Tavel
for my grandfather Paul
Your face dissolves into fog. My fevered flu
sweats day two & I strain to see the tube
beyond your shoulders where Prince
zips his purple Honda through Minneapolis
after grinding out “Computer Blue.”
Ritz & Seagram’s fizz are the only food
you’ll allow. They don’t stay down. My crude
sick bay is a Lego bucket emptied. I wince
& heave, dissolving to fog.
You chuckle at your Rockport shoes
glistening sour pink with puke.
Grandfather, through delirium’s squint
I watch Prince’s falsettoed slow-mo quinte
stun the trout-mouth crowd. Flat & cooed
your hum dissolves his hook to fog.
No cloud or curtain shields the noon-light
as we stoop to sock your feet & slide
them down the stiff-tongued Rockports
Unc has bought though you resort
to railings now. Laces tight,
we drift Charlotte Hall’s corridors bright
& reeking Clorox. The parakeet’s flight
inside its rec room cage transforms
your clouded speech to noon-light.
But like corsairs how goddamn mighty
we three feel, our slow cigars alight
on the No Smoking bench—a sordid sort
of scallywags who cough & snort
a two-note shanty righting
our final sail blazed with noon-light.