Remember the instant flash in photo booth
us aping at the world, daring it to
Carnaby Street back when it was feral
during day you could walk into magazine offices
snag a t-shirt and catcalls for your troubles
at night, rinsed with delight, fall into clubs
obedient to time’s begotten rule
let in the youth, let them in at any cost.
Did we know then, could we guess?
With your straight-A’s and my thick glasses
the sculpture of life that lay ahead?
I think we did not, for it is the weft of piss
and vinegar, else youth would crumble
before it were even born
that charm and bluster, a false flag against fate
terrifying adults as they watch repeated
their own invariable mistakes.
They say history will replay for those who do not know it
but that is only part the story
it is our naïveté and courage brings both
sweetness and horror
if we knew what swam down the pike
in our direction, we’d swerve natural order
vivisection and delight, playing on rusty key
jarring to those who have heard it before
golden to the ingénue.
What I see in your face now
30 years hence, flung in no time spent
are the laugh lines of your mother
who always had the best skin
the patience of your father, with
his long fingers playing air and dream
just as you, once thirsting, now sate
sit in sun and feel the submersion of its
everlasting rays and in the same voice
years ago, years hence, now laugh
a survivor of yourself and everything
that can break us, you hold your child
to yielding light and turn to me;
I think he’ll be a little heartbreaker
you say, as if just for a moment
you were able to move time and peer through
that cloudy looking glass
we raise time and again
to them, to those, to us.