Thursday, June 28, 2018

My Epitaph

I’ll never have a son or daughter. 
I slaughtered any likelihood of that.
It’s not just that I’m gay. There are other
ways to foster progeny than through
the customary man and woman family plan.
But I’m content to be the witting beneficiary
of unwitting chance: the coupling of a father
and a mother in the sanctioned pleasures
of the ancient dance, which however by some
measures failed by not producing others through
new fathers and new mothers to the line.
My brother’s sexual proclivities reflected mine.
Venus never met our penises: Mars perhaps
too often has. And yet I’ve known a kind of jazz
epiphany through procreative sexual abandon:
libidinizing life – as if that were the apparatus
of a wife with whom I’ve peopled my New York.
(Blake sat naked in his London garden, singing
to his progeny of poesy, heralded by angels
in his trees.) I am among this city’s legacies.
New York is my spouse and child; I am its.
If I have a generative purpose, here it sits.
But am I only apparatus? Do I have blood?
I dream I’m standing with my father and my
brother in a downpour of precipitating mud.
Solipsism drops in dollops of itself, discarded like
denatured coffee grounds, forgotten by the pot.
My epitaph’s a rueful laugh: “I’m all I’ve got.”

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