Howard Firkin
Kristine, because I lost the poems and
the only villanelle I’ll ever crack,
it seems as if I’m hiding you or planned
to slip your card from somewhere in the pack
to trump somebody. Someone you don’t know.
I read about your Dad. I thought I’d write
but couldn’t. I’m too distant now—my name
is not the one you used. One day I might.
I sound confused. You see I’m still the same
sweetwater buccaneer of long ago.

Kristine, I never understood past tense;
you are important to me now, again.
I’m sorry nothing that I write makes sense;
I’m happy now; I’m happy for the then.