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How does one grow the cojones to celebrate a Fudgsicle?
I’ll tell you, and won’t begin by mentioning trellises forsooth.
The items on the register are mechanisms inscrutable, yes.
But they sway in the doubled-up air with a sense of lucidity,
A kind of gong affect that chiggers as it steamrolls forth,

Appraisals for unchintziest bling. Time for a sea change.
Your turn, and this means you
Come with me. Agreeable and mute, like the original
Doppelgänger, or as we in my neighborhood called it
The Doppler Radar.

On school mornings, a trust fund in my teeth,
High yacht vanilla swilled my parents’ bed.
I would be multiple and exact.
From that vantage, a windpipe brought forth
On invisible horseback to the sick child’s bed.

I’m sure you can’t quite imagine it, ember
In the tabby lobby. But I could. I arrested it.
Gershwin and American Airlines and I could always
Tell the voice without the face, God’s gift to me
For being lame in phlegmatic tissue. O parabola.

Look at the ashtrays! There they are. Swinging, roiling,
Ocean-choppy, a gauntlet of remote controls,
Paint supplies all stacked up with nowhere to go
In the corner of a grave illness — like pink paint.
This forecast of centenarians in Florida, and Burbank.

All my life I wanted a fractal tie and strawberry apron.
Now I’m a Church lady, no hint of arthritic condition.
My name isn’t Sallie or Mae, it’s Sallie Mae.
Millions of tiny pendants, Waterford crystal, bubbling
From local tree-fort where boys grope one another.

Will you come with me for Pilates at Fort Ticonderoga?
Denise Austin is here. Stretch in the sun.
Champagne woods, lakes chasms, dismounts.
Then you say: You have no idea what I lived through.
The Green Mountain Boys were like a second dad to me.

This poem is reprinted from George Washington: Poems by Adam Fitzgerald. Copyright © 2016 by Adam Fitzgerald. With permission of the publisher, Liveright Publishing Corporation.
Source: Poetry (November 2016)
More Poems by Adam Fitzgerald