For R.H. Deutsch
“sic itur ad astra”
The dog that leaves me behind
as a tail (wags)—the chorus girls,
all the great books & the stinking sea—
never notes the azaleas in bloom
nor differentiates the scent of winter from spring.
Life, friends, is boring, is an animal ache
we wish to bury like a bone.
(Henry grows a beard and gets himself
some medals & some grants).
We drink and dance, and dance and drink
our shadow-show as valid as any dog or cat
though accepting none of it as woman or man.
And all the great words of the masters
& all the gin-and-tonics of all the happy pubs
can ever alter that one dull and inevitable fact:
Henry never gonna know the whys nor the wherefores.
—Mr. Bones, no one ever does.