Colossal heads

 still loom over the picnic table,

aunts and uncles in their prime

carrying legends brilliant

as boulders in the summer sun

on that day they were all together

before they slowly tumbled one by one

from the crests of their Himalayas .

Their laughter bolts above the trees,

their rebukes halt even the wind.

They tell stories over and over

of lives no mortal will live again,

of wars that dragged them from farms,

winters the snow out peaked rooftops,

seasons when they worked for pennies

in fields where nothing grew.

They can catch anything,

make anything fly,

gulp homebrew so fast

foam still whitens their lips,

exhale smoke so exhilarating

our skin glistens.

Near midnight,

we hear their distant voices

from the darkness of station wagon beds,

not foreseeing how they will shrink

as minute by minute we grow astride them,

that they’ll never polka again

as they do now under streetlights,

that we’ll comfort old men with gigantic ears

propped on the edges of hospital beds,

bring bouquets to women

stooped by weary hormones,

never in a lifetime find

gods glorious as these.





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