by Tobey Kaplan

Jan was sitting at a table in February of 1995
Enrico's on Broadway
 before her kidneys shut down completely
I wrote out a check after talking with some people
then sat down with her
looking at her profile searching for her father
trying to figure out what makes us all pass through
like urine like words
like her father said  

all his stuff is up for grabs now it's relic memorabilia
now it's scholarly research
or locked up so valuable auctioned off to pay estate taxes
but seldom someone a collector a trivial actor
his own profile surrounded and surrendered in a million photos
what's it worth
his own energy surging up  making clutter like my own
as I wonder who will pore over my archives
paw through the historical testaments
and records frayed newspapers of a dying hippies
crumpled poetry lost now in the cracked moments of recurring fragments
flashbacks pamphlets posters homage to the generation

her only son  Jack's grandson is he owed anything
like a survivor of the Holocaust
or a shark ravaged teenager who didn't panic
lucky he said
the shark grabbed his leg
not his guts not  his belly
in his backpack up on the beach
a copy of On the Road


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