Vain invisible man
Vain invisible man,
Stepping out in the sun
As far from when you began
As when you’re sure to be done,
Your shadow in the city
Is looking wise and witty.
It’s true that only yesterday
You were yearning for the cloister,
But by the feel of today
The world is still your oyster;
And should you catch a woman's eye,
The moon's your pearl up in the sky.
Your plasma membranes are leaking,
Your DNA is falling apart,
Neurons no longer speaking
And mitochondria are losing heart.
By all accounts you ought to be
In chapter-something bankruptcy.
As Sir and Boss and Dear and Dad
You've settled out of solution—
I mean, the only one you ever had,
In worldwide revolution.
Your life can seem both rich and full
And like a too-long taffy-pull.
You'll never make a zillion bucks
Or have to book a flight to Sweden,
Or join the Red Wing slapping pucks
Or wed a starlet in some Eden,
And never will outgrow this part
Of sidekick to your crazy heart.
The love at home, the love you found,
And God knows how you haven't lost:
It's love that keeps you feeling sound
And just above the permafrost.
And anyway your cover's blown:
Your daughter's chiming on your phone.
The same old you. The new old you.
It won't save much, your saving wit.
You should have dashed the cup, it's true,
And now you have to account for it:
Your forty-something years and this,
This something some call happiness.