Providing for death while providing against my own,
         sitting thinking of new poems, I watch the play
         of my family, and dream. Dialogue is tossed over
         me in loud, loving voices. Names and exclamations
         the same as in any contemporary drama, my family
         moving around me smiling or singing or even weeping
         when called for.

         Cue the quiet moments, block the seating arrangement.
         Nothing has changed here. Even as a child I knew my
         asides were to provide harmony to a melody of many voices.
         Straining to stay in it, struggling to get out, I knew
         as I grew that I identified my character as a pivot, as
         a hinge—as being an individual in a company
         of others.

         A clap of silence met my first entrance, Mother lying there,
         gasping “Is it really him?” Now every time I come home
         the whole house jumps to its feet. But one can lose a house.
         Luckily, the production adjusts to any new set.
         I want to take this story, write my own rise and fall,
         climax the way I like to, rewrite lines, then
         enjoy applause.

         Nineteen-thirty-eight. Nineteen-thirty-nine. Nineteen-sixty-six.
         In nineteen-sixty-nine a whole world was born. My world
         was tick-tocking toward the curtains. We meet each other
         one by one, and looking out the car windows, we see
         some other world going by. We smile at it and wave.
         The world smiles, turns. We are driving, driving away.

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