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