Marching Into a Wall
    by Douglas Gilbert

Somebody told me that:

The young are alive with music
popcorn and parading, mostly
in open futures, but

When death marches into us
it’s like walking the wrong way in a parade

you can crash into a hearty marcher,
sometimes get hit by a drumstick
or by a slice of pizza by a bystander

Sometimes you
crash into an enveloping bass tuba
a little too base for a cornucopia, and

some of those who
look like angels will
hit you with a baton

The beat of the drums
is a blast that doesn’t last,
and everyone knows
you’re going the wrong way.

Yes but,
somebody told me that

Was it you?
I’m thinking,

There’s still time, and
could we be cynical together
in the philosophy department, and

write papers under the table
until romantic love
seemed playful.

you know,
I think scholars
are sexy, but
I can’t prove it.

Could we meet
in the faculty lounge
and exchange data
that is fluid in interpretation.

Oh hell,
I’m just old and afraid

I don’t want the committee to love my paper —
I just want you.

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