It was the spring of year four
By then Fred was out of the luxury digs of Mt. Sinai.
We were back on Lorimer St.
Me, as I was often during those years
Leaning in leaning over listening for news
From his body.
Aah, Fred, I said, as I counted the stitches down his torso
And brushed the medallion of skin made by his port.
Aah Fred, look at what the surgeons have gifted you
A way out, a way forward.
But not for his soul
for his waste.
Aah Fred and I leaned in closer
because now it was my turn to come to terms
with the positive and negative space of him.
Fred I said
You got you one hell of a crater.
And we laughed as we crossed that bridge.
Years later Bronze Fred stood before me:
I know you I said, how I know you.
Of course it made all the sense in the world to me that
Fred was decked out in saxophone keys
With good luck where the port used to be
Only partially clothed in splendor
Which was true during the days when wounds needed air.
The professorial specs
The eyes joined by his troublemaking grin.
I looked at Bronze Fred.
He looked at me.