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