Fauxmoir, February, 2022



This wallet is the last

         I’ll ever have

                   if I don’t

lose it. 

I can see it all before me now

         penciled in like a lineup card;

                  as the leather wears

                                               so will I

the rest of the way

         broken in like a baseball glove

                        life down pat

just as the innings all run out.


The wallet I lost at fifteen years old

                was like my dad’s

                            shiny black calfskin for a birthday

         but Dad’s was old


                            stretched and rounded by mysterious bulk;

         mine so new & light

was it in my pants or not?


It fell at a Fox matinee

         out the back pocket

                   of my navy-style white bellbottoms

         as I watched The Happening

                   with the Supremes hit song of the same name.


What did I have to keep in a wallet

         when so young & hapless—

                   money from paper routes & mowing lawns?   


A picture of a girl with short blonde hair

         tucked away in dark inner folds

                  leather sex-redolent in warm calfskin;

I see a face

         I hear a name and feel

                   the weekend afternoon

                   the tree we climbed

                   the fort we dug in black suburban soil

         but cannot reach that place in time

                            held deep

in slots & sections of my mind.


This last wallet,

         still unmarked,


              never to be back-pocket-worn

                   contains no photographs

                             no currency.


She and I and all

         the gloves and innings

         the matinee Supremes

                  their song     the tree     the fort     the afternoon

                                              my father

         all will fall into creases

                   crevasses and wrinkles

                                     of red-grey time

         the convolutions of my dying brain.


         The wallet will live on

                  in someone else’s pocket

                            being as it is

already dead.