Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Fifi — Charles Rammelkamp

When I read about the accident,
Glen tumbling off his roof
like Icarus falling out of the sky,
slamming into the pavement
three stories down,
snapping his neck,
dying instantly,

I remembered the fey lad in Boston,
just out of the closet
where he’d shut himself up
for the first nineteen years
of his Midwestern life,
glorying in his new-found freedom
hundreds of miles from home,
carrying around a stuffed armadillo
he called Fifi,
a leash around its neck,
the hilarity he and his friends found
in the shocked, bewildered expressions
of the other commuters on the subway trains,
a sort of smug contempt
for the provincials’ lack of imagination.

Icarus, yes: precocious, careless, proud,
sure he could repair his chimney
all by himself, without assistance,
pleased with himself
for the ingeniousness of Fifi

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