Cutting in line at the DMV with telekinesis,
brandishing a wine bottle in the kiddie pool,
watching Cheers reruns with nachos at three,
thump-testing the supermarket watermelons,
the banned customer at the dimly lit massage
joint, scary silhouette hovering in the portrait
gallery at the termite museum, wetting his
or her shorts in abject clown-terror, the rope
from the company tug-of-war contest worn
like a wrestling belt at the mandatory bingo,
hooked up for hours of cut-rate dialysis due
to lack of health coverage, welding the pipe
even when “the pipe” is a metaphor for jobs
of folks with character and without arch villains,
even when “welding” means coping each day
without heat vision or laser cannons, rocking
the wife beater and cargo pants at day care,
hoping early mutant powers of their kids don’t
invalidate leases or insurance policies, fretting
about credit-card APRs, selecting a quick pick
six lotto ticket on the digits from the hot telepath
sleep-talking after a booty call, mouthing lyrics
and playing air drums to Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”
in stained tighty-whities in a studio apartment,
or any rental, or carrying any money in skin
tight pants; perhaps we don’t have the eyes
on the astral plane to spot the nervous tics,
the tears beneath the hood, the slipped discs,
the secret moon bases reflected in puddles
beneath the leaky toilet, the forgotten portal
to the second-least-favorite in-laws’ garage,
the walk-in closet filled with stuffed lemurs,
the failed prescriptions that didn’t account
for alien platelets, forbidden shower duets
with the sidekick’s great-aunt, panic while
lost in the corn maze, the wrong size battery
for the sexual aid causing a rift in the ozone
layer, the cheaters in motels and on taxes,
the radioactive lint on the jet-black Spandex
cowl, the failed xenobotany experiments, ten
times failed in marriage, de-friended for politics,
the forgotten team member hawking trophies,
a loneliness that lasts so long it seems heroic,
time traveling to a worse place on purpose,
just to find a purpose, the ink of secret tattoos
glowing only in full moonlight: We miss you.

Martin Ott and John F. Buckley