& All Be Changed

R.J. Gibson

(Download this poem as a PDF to read with its original formatting.)

Maybe tonight:                                 sleep?                    big spoon/little?

Maybe not                        wake up every hour?                    Maybe deep?                    like other people?

& when I wake, I won’t                                be the guy who fucks

younger guys than you.              & you                  won’t cry trying to stuff me

                in your mouth                                when I say not tonight.

                                                Maybe we’ll give to the homeless, the panhandlers.

Maybe we’ll dog walk, house sit, cat foster.                  Maybe I’ll stop laughing

when other people fall.                                Maybe                                it will still be just me.

Wake to piss,                    have coffee,                        walk the dog.                    Maybe four blocks

from home we pass a jogger:

from the college soccer team.                                                 & I might smell him:    glad

for the wonders of the body                    all those bits of him!:                    scattering,


into me, so I might                         recognize                             misrecognize:    hot

gravel, upturned earth, cedar shavings:   glad

for the midmorning sun, how it creates reliefs

on his lats & delts & quads.   If

I had my way?                                   I’d set the dog                   across his path.                 Trip

him up.

I’d drag him

to some shade, dial 911,                            scrutinize him ’til the ambulance arrives.

I’d cradle him.      Answer every question.                                            I’d pretend

he fell to Earth.                I’d watch him loaded, ready

to see him go.

I’d squint ‘til there was nothing.

about the author