The Last Tock

On the day that my silver watch sheds its last
Ticking second onto the surface of my skin,
I will be dancing.
I say this with certainty because dancing
Is something that I do every day of my life
Whether it be in invitation or in exile,
In joy or in awkwardness.
Nonetheless my watch will stop and I
May or may not notice for several hours.

Knowing myself,
Which I feel that I may be the least likely in this world to do,
I will sigh and remember the boy that first put it on,

He was an eighteen year old boy, pridefully old for his age,
Sitting in his living room, reading The Catcher In the Rye for
The second time, he claimed that the first was merely for
“shiggles” and the second was where the real meat of the story
Became apparent and visceral.
Pridefully old for his age he was, tough for his mother and
Determined to be the man that his father was, being a man meant
No crying no matter who died.

It was around page sixty-five that the boy’s father came into
The room,
“Do you want your grandfather’s old watch?”
At this, I remember, the boy looked up and felt his inner chest churn with
The nervous and excited “Yes” that overtook his body unconsciously.
It very often surprises us that our brains know what we want before we realize
That we want it.

The memories held in that watch,
What I embrace intrinsically daily as I slip the band around my wrist
is what he contributed to it daily as he dealt six cards and rapped his
leather fingers atop the mangled wood of the cribbage board.

I wasn’t fifteen two, or fifteen four, he was somewhere in between,
eighteen is no age to lose a hero, neither is eighty. So he redacted

his thoughts unfit for conversation because mumbling
gibberish isn’t an effective form of communication.
His patterns began to mingle with those of Holden and he became a concrete mixer,
pouring a basis for the rest of his life, understanding that as much as people
say they don’t want to be in your business, what they actually want is to see your riddled
holes, the piercings through your chest and they want to stick their soft
curious fingers inside and move around.

He waited and steeped
a warm cup of emotional tea.
Then he spilled himself onto the page of a blog,
ones and zeroes were the only tool to end a war sweet enough to drink.

And he danced.

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