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AR #57 Cover
number 57

by Susan Lilley

The Endless Boogie

On a corner in my son's adopted city.
he greets my cab with hipster chivalry,
tossing his long, Byronic hair as he leaps
to the curb, so smiling and a quarter-century tall.
Inside the Mercury Lounge, there is no sitting,
only milling, or leaning against a piece
of throbbing wall. No good wine,
only headache in a glass.
And smoke.
I am too old at first,
and the opening act, Endless Boogie,
nearly finishes me off. But then
the boys from Sweden we have come to hear,
whose name is like a clump of trees,
start up an old mythology
we all recognize, even in another language,
gold melted, and fire
passed from hand to hand,
lighting my son's oceanic eyes,
eyes so worldly, even as a small boy
swinging a bat for the camera.
I slowly relinquish my age,
am refined to a mere presence
flickering under denim and amethyst.
He is at home here, his long limbs
and tireless, shining companions.
Later, when I am dreaming
in a silky uptown hotel I can scarce afford,
they will still be dancing at 4 a.m.,
some warehouse dive in Brooklyn,
where lust and friendship arm wrestle
on beer-splattered table tops
until the sun plods in like a tired housemother
and forces these kids home
to the day-lit sleep of infants.

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