Frankie Boone, I want
To know where you’ve been.
Sixty-five years ago, you were
Twelve, following your dog Rex.
Frankie, have you sailed to the moon
And back? Where does New York City
Dump a dead dog, even a king?
Once we were reflections on
The stained East River. Whether
We smiled or frowned, brown
Water didn’t tell. It still tries
With each tide to cleanse itself.
God knows, we’ve tried, climbed
From the grit asphalt of East 11th Street,
Where your mother wrestled
The other waitress who worked
The corner luncheonette. I cringed
For you, for the hair pulling and
Curses spit. Where have you been?
I see you strolling Rex. Both
Of us, small and hunched
Over new harmonicas, picking
Out tunes on somebody’s stoop.