after “Radio, 1930’s Replica”
(…listening to Flash Gordon on Saturday mornings.)
We sat on the floor
where the listener became a warrior again,
relearning every voice,
even how to see,
finicky, with imagination,
a single image at a time.
Names enchanted the brain,
resembling those we invented for our own games.
So that the invisible characters carefully developed
against the brick walls and black sky
may be presented in short segments
as a whole adventure.
My brother and I fortified ourselves
for those visual space battles
by eating peanut butter sandwiches,
and drinking milk,
so as to have the best of both worlds.
When we stood up
we felt like heroes,
flying and invincible.
When we sat down again,
the flannel night robes
falling in great folds around us.
I occupied a marvelous world then
where every sense was taught new ways of perceiving.
What led me to dare such adventures?
To come so far past in middle age?
To make it through a real world?
I sip a glass of wine,
sit in a comfortable chair,
watch Syfy in HD on a big flat screen,
and coddle in endless speculation.
I have learned to be silent and still,
and no longer imagine.