by Tom Daley
for & about Gene Legg
That bangs-and-rooster hairdo
favored by the glitter rock
raconteurs. That blonde and wry
uptick of the eyebrows.
That mischievous recliner
spread out while you were
grading papers. We crowded
your apartment every night
for tea and ribaldry, no tea
ever being poured.
You had a glint for every
variance, a stent for every occlusion.
You were miraculous to us,
an adult provisioning carefree
balm, anointing our hideous
anxieties with your lighthearted
insouciance, greasing our joints
with your apple-flavored guffaws,
your pert imitations of a cornball
lustiness, your mimic
of the caricatures who floated
with helium inattention
down the corridors of your domain.
You gave yourself, your sleep, your
hungers, utterly to our badgering,
to our starved earlobes and eagerly
flared shoulders, to our gargantuan
wish to be drizzled in the weather
of your wrists and your palms.
When did you have a minute
to dream, or lesson plan,
or find a woman to nuzzle
your heart so big it almost
saturated your ashtrays,
your button-down collars,
your tall tales and smiles wide as a doorsill