Dover is 3 his hair like canary feathers.
   he puts his blue eye to the hole
   in the board fence between us.
   we stick out our tongues and touch.

Dover is 5 in a white suit.
   mine eyes dazzle I help him pee
   at my birthday party
   forsaking all others.

Dover is 7 we sit in the tree of heaven
   & hold each other like monkeys.
   gently he picks my scab.

Dover is 9 teaching me to drink vanilla.

Dover is 12 with a cellar clubroom.
   we play slapjack:
   my hand under his hand lies

Dover is 15 stealing his dad’s Melachrinos
   borrowing cars for nightrides
   & anatomy lessons.

Dover is 20 flunking out of Duke, drafted.
   we wrestle in dry leaves.
   my fiancé races his engine.

Dover is 24 back from Korea & married.
   his canary crest his fallen.
   we revisit the old clubroom.
   my husband is not amused.

Dover is 26 a father but the boy is dark.

Dover is 30 divorced & moved away
   his blue eyes veined with red
   his fingers trembling amber.

Dover is 35 & never a day older
   thin-haired in the stain box
   with a ruined liver
   & half a lung.

Dover whenever I smell vanilla
   your glazed blue eyes undo me
   your 9-year-old drunken laughter
   rocks my heart

Dover come back to my birthday party
   in your white suit
   back to the tree of heaven
   the hole in the fence