Prince – 2004

Prince is dead.
The internet is full
of tributes and my heart
tips to maudlin. How
were we to know
we would never
have a chance again to see
him perform in person?
Somehow there is always time,
time to do the things
we chose not to do
for some reason that seemed convincing
at the time, but now
now that the impossible
is impossible,
because of time
and how death comes
with time, it now seems
a kind of laziness
or lack of character
that instead of buying tickets
to the show, we pulled over
where the high-speed ferry
docks on Lake Michigan,
cranked down our windows,
and listened as Prince performed
his top songs, his number ones.
Then it seemed romantic
of a sort. You and me, maybe
the dogs, and a breeze.
How were we to know
that our child
born the next year
(Had I known, June 2004? Not yet.)
would subsume all of our time
with seizures and struggles?
There would be no time
for shows or sex
or funkadelic hip-sway.
It doesn’t matter
if I play Prince for him,
on repeat, in the car, on the way
to school, he will not understand,
will never understand
why it’s not a song
about a train, about a choo-choo,
and he will cry,
because our son will be
forever young. And now,
Prince. Dead at 57.
He will be too.

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