the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




Richard Levine

My Gray Shin
     for Robert Dunn

By eye, the hair on my left shin has grayed,
and my body and mind are going fast,
wearied by the way Ralph Nader campaigned
in double oh against double U, bast-

ards both! And like matadors who've been Gored,
we Kerry-d on to oh-four, and now, mama,
that we need more than Viagra restores
look who's come to dinner, Obama!

Before codgerhood I was a Yippie! —
anti-war, civil rights, unbiased — sworn
to oppose Nixon and Donald Seggretti.
So, how did we get-ty here? I'm forlorn.

If Yoknapatawpha can't get it straight,
and again prostrates themselves before The Fear
that all blacks and gays want is to penetrate
their steeples with their steeples, then it's clear

we'll find four years of McCain, whose palin'
faster than I am, planning to get arm-
again-done. I'll tell you folks, I'm failin'
to see the humor as more people are harmed.

I might choose migration, like sivilized Huck
but my gray shin's achin' and I'm still wed
to who I am and where I've been and Fuck!,
just when we need a laugh, Robert Dunn is dead.



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