on a room
my full-blooded german, full of years grandfather
came back from world war 2
after fighting for America (any way you wanna take it)
and started building this house, these rooms,
which he saw completed
and lived in
one of my cousins slept in one of the bedrooms
and one night, while we were playing,
while our moms were in the livingroom,
I tripped on a fort we’d made of pillows, sheets,
blankets on the bed, fell, landed on the cold, tile floor
small amounts of blood
from my small brown head,
through my short
I got to ride in an ambulance
at the age
I think I walked into it.
eventually, my grandfather died.
he had an aneurysm while working
for this newspaper he’d served
for most of his life.
he also got to ride in an ambulance.
I know he walked onto it
sure as I know the room still stands to this day,
only without his footsteps, without his health
and years later, amongst other things,
I slept in that room, ate there, did drugs, whatnot,
my mom gone to I-don’t-know-where, my aunt still
in the livingroom.
I was sitting on the bed I’d fallen off
12 or 13 or 14 years before.
my roommate sat next to me;
there were some friends of ours, three or four
of them, in chairs or on footstools, our feet
on the cold tile floor(…)
and this girl a little younger than us, pubescent
for sure, but not quite of drinking age.
I don’t think any of us were of drinking age,
though our glasses filled with booze
sure as the walls of the room
were thumb-tacked with posters, pictures, photos.
at some point the girl began to leave
to see some other people
and one of our friends walked her
out of the room, the house,
to her car.
evidently, though, she began moving
her mouth in such a way as to form
a number of rather daring words,
words challenging the old human double-standard
of sex relations.
she came back with the guy who was walking her
to her car.
suddenly it seemed this girl was going to fuck
every guy in the room,
except my roommate,
who had a girl of his own at the time.
now, keep in mind, please, that this girl was not
in any way, shape, or form, to do anything
she didn’t volunteer for, and also
had two pierced nipples
on two well formed breasts
which she displayed to anyone who’d look,
(I guess everyone gets tough about
still, despite the will and the energy of the room,
I couldn’t get it up for her.
I wasn’t impotent or drunk,
but there are a great many ways to
and besides, the boys were taking her
somewhere else and the room
they left me with my roommate
to wait for
and now, years since then,
none of us go to that house, to that
room. I have
in other wars
or other houses.