Wallet

 

This wallet is the last

I will ever have

if I don’t

lose it.

I’ve got it all lined out now

penciled in

as the leather wears

so will I,

the rest of the way;

broken in

life down pat

just as it all wears out.

 

The wallet I lost at fifteen

was like my dad’s

shiny black calf’s leather for a birthday

but Dad’s was old

wear-buffed

stretched and rounded by mysterious bulk;

mine so 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 that Supremes hit song.

 

I don’t know what I had to keep

in a wallet

when young & hapless—

money from paper routes & mowing lawns?

 

I recall a picture of a girl

tucked away in dark folds

leather scent

sex-redolent in folds of warm calf-skin.

I see her face

hear her 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 and sections of my mind.

 

This last wallet

still unmarked

not-yet-lost

never back-pocket-worn

contains no photographs

no currency.

She and I

the matinee Supremes

their song

the tree — the fort — the afternoon

my father;

all will fall into creases

crevasses & 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.