A different song than elegy playing on the jukebox

      As a child you have such small, 
slender fingers. When you touch them
lightly to the window of the taxicab,
they barely leave a smudge. The world,
if not completely new anymore, still has
24-hour convenience and grocery stores,
where you can stand in front of the ice
cream cases reading a wonderment of names
to melt on the tongue. What happened to make
that door slide into a catch? And on the other
side, spindrifts blown by cresting winds;
wrong way signs; trails that go on and on. You
walk them dutifully, hoping for the one
that returns to a wardrobe and a dusty attic.
Anywhere, really, where the landscape
is ordinary. No complications, no tricks
played on the mind so it alternates
between brave and terrified, exultant
and abased, hopeful then abject. Is this
what they call eternity? If so, where are your
ancestors, those spirit guides you fed
with cheese and shrimp puffs, rice balls, tea?
If they live there, the least they could do
is provide a clean room; a towel and a cake of soap.
Rest after years and years of weary trudging.
A different song than elegy playing on the jukebox.
You'd invite them to share an old-fashioned banana
split. Artificial cherry on top, but lots of cream.

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