"Night after night
I danced on dynamite"
Ai, "James Dean"
Another gray sunset and I've outlived David Bowie
and most of those boys who danced on dynamite,
though I hobble around on feet that were never that agile,
in shoes that never sparkled.
When I shop for new threads, though, I still
find myself caught between my Amish ancestors in their
chambray, suspenders, straw hat, and Ziggy Stardust
in his frippery. That's the dilemma in a world
where I can dial up tunes for a disco ball
while resting on a chair built by a distant cousin
who still works by lantern light.
I could have gone one way or the other, I suppose,
shouting out my life or holding the reins of a draft horse.
Either was a mountain onto itself, though, so I chose the valley
in between, and on a night like this the fog settles on me
so quietly I cannot mark the moment when I disappear.
Tom Barlow is an Ohio author of poetry, short stories and novels. His work has appeared in journals including PlainSongs, Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, Hobart, Tenemos, Redivider, Aji, The New York Quarterly, The Remington Review, Aurora Review, and many more. See more at tombarlowauthor.com.