for Steve Carter

Slow witted,
but getting sane.

The heart of a champion.
We drove a car across Texas
in the middle of the night.
Cigars and speed and open windows.

We were friends first,
and then all this happened.
He is comfortable with my wife,
in the same way I am not with his.

My eyes aren’t what they used to be,
but my hearing is sharp.
My reflexes are tremendous.
I once caught a fly in my mouth
on a very dark night.
It was easy.

It is a phone call at odd hours that marks us.
And there are those weekend trips to the coast,
a bar called Burners, a waitress,
and the Kon Tiki motel.

He will die of liver disease,
and me of a heart attack.
We will be young and pretty still,
like shells on a beach.

Pfefferle, W.T. “Meetings,” The Ohio Review 50 (Spring 1993): 99.