For M. G.
Pantera, little king. Danzig’s Lucifuge, Black Sabbath or Alice
in Chains, something with bite marks
and metal on the wrist. Because you were thrash. Because you
were a bastard. Because you were brick
to window, window to the undone
glass along the pavement, a surprise in the soft way
you said sorry.
Wilco for Chicago, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, temple
hymnal for the Sabbath you swapped
the juice for wine and went red as a Testament robe.
Something Rome for a city
you never went to, something requiem
because your parents died before you.
Lou Reed, little prince, Patricia Lee, Iggy Pop’s Passenger you were too young
to know. Dodos for the sixth song’s solo alone: the string sounds,
the shout, the jungle drums coming back in: like flight, Michael,
like light to the lakeside sky we were drunk, shrug, dumb enough to leap beneath
from cliff-ledge to black glass dawn-flat water. Our splay
to white knife falling to that blackness. Phoenix
because you are ash.
Wavves, Sun Kil, The Walkmen’s sun-washed Lisbon, because
you would forgive, Michael, these words, my sentimental and all-
night drinking among friends who remember you, better, loved you
with a rage like blindness, the sun against an eye.
Because I still don’t know
if you meant to leave us.
Something commissioned, little king. Something Philly, finally,
as that’s how I remember you best: still with your kid-fat, your little-
league tee, our hands together on the spool: November
and letting it out, the kite’s pale rise, the crows flying by us: how you just
took over, walked off, left me at the park edge, followed that white stitch deep
into the field. Michael, you’re dead five years
and I still don’t know what to do with my hands.