Dream with Patchwork Moon

My love, I want to show you this strange moon:
a quilted wine and blue, half the charcoal sky–
but you are playing a game, a Crash Bandicoot

offshoot where you are a humanoid frog who jumps
and spins across 3-D landscapes. I ask you please
come outside there is a nervous crowd gathering

for this cosmic anomaly. But no one dies because
I wake and recall my childhood summers spent
on the cold, brown, teddybear carpet of my basement,

hands on controller, eyes mesmerized by polygons.
My father would slowly descend the stairs then ask
me to walk with him– as he often did the last

years of his life– that there was a whole world
out there, the world, and if I would walk once
with him he would show me, please, just once.

 

(originally published in Vagabond City Lit, Summer 2019)

Future Men

boys who would be future men 
squealed at new Pokemon.
mimicked moves, karate'd birds

flapping and winging and flinging
     OVER NINE THOUSAND!
miles per hour

and things
eight-dollar K-B Toys 
always break 

blue mega man 
onto metal bunk
bed swung 
                              CLANKCLUNK

sprints'a from kitchen, lotsa surge, 
hi-ye-ho bullet train 
                              small-scale rail

    the basement 
       digging
digging through purple bin
     TREASURE! TREASURE!

homemade pogs; on one side 
the cut-out cartoons 
from game manuals, Zero so cool
his long blonde hair, red armor
give me his sword no 
          it's mine 
          x-buster
    circular cutting 
rise to heroes controlled  
  control was so easy

yes, yes, think of life–
death in digital terms

those boys were the masters then

    the future men and their
    cold basement summers


(originally published in Suburban Diaspora)