Never Too Old 



I feel the small lump-- 
The tooth under my pillow; 
Lower left canine.  Still copper 
Under my tongue. 

Burke never should’ve tried me. 
Stung me once, but 
I gave back better. 
Maybe he got up after I left? 
Doubtful. 
Face looked like... 
Ground round. 

Ridiculous, 
A grown man putting a tooth 
Under his pillow, 
Parents ten years gone, 
All alone... 
It’s just: boyhood habits die hard. 
Can’t sleep.  
Burke’s broken face flutters under my eyelids 
Like a movie projector. 

The door to my bedroom opens. 
Soft steps draw near. 
Breathing, hovering, 
Above me. 

It’s here, 
For the tooth. 

Maybe more.