.188

it dissolves, it all dissolves:   those we thought
were so great, so exceptional–they dissolve;
even the cat
walking across the rug vanishes in a
puff of smoke;
nations break at the seams
and overnight become
second-rate powers;
the .330 hitter can no longer
see the ball, he dips to .188
sits on the bench
wondering about
the remainder of his life;
the heavyweight champ is knocked senseless by
a 42 to one underdog;
it dissolves, it all dissolves–
old cars break down
in the freeway rush hour;
I look    at a photo of myself
and think,
who’s that
awkward-looking
silly
old man?
it dissolves–the nights of hurricane and
hunger
have turned
placid;
I look for a partial set of my teeth
along the bookcase
shelf;
and I can’t even think of
a last line
to this poem;
sometimes
before his death
a man can see
his
ghost.