Elegy

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Elegy
 
He carved his name on pizzeria walls.
He combed his hair with lanolin.
He wore guinea tees.
He wrestled beneath an Autumn oak tree.
He taught me about muscles.
Nicky wore chinos and pointy black shoes.
He loved the neon of Saturday night.
He had James Dean lips and eyes bluer than mine.
His back pocket had a comb and a wallet.
His wallet had a rubber.
I swear to his virginity.
I never loved him. I never loved anything till he died.
Death is the father of love and love is the mother of death.
 
 
(On the sofa mom would cry, laugh, cry.
There were coffee and sandwiches.
Everyone wore black and talked about heaven.
I was eight. I thought you might have tricked all of us.
Maybe you'd become a hermit in the woods.
You were running over rivers on rocks with your bow and arrow.
 
Nicky was a power hitter.
He lifted weights and punched out bullies.
He had a scuba set, a B.B. gun, a color atlas and perpetual laryngitis.
Nicky hunted the fox and at 11 he hitched all the way to upstate New York.
He got a 13-state alarm.
He melted limburger cheese on the school radiator.
 
(You flew through a window and into a wall
and the cops gathered you with shovels. Your last two
words were, "Oh Shit..."
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