The Age of Aquarius
Merely a mote in a sunny window,
hippiedom has vanished, leaving only
a memory of bell-bottomed starshine.
In youth we celebrated love
and nakedness, our slick bodies
lithe and sweating as we danced
in Woodstock mud.
We rose up, bathed in primeval slime,
to recreate ourselves, a new Genesis.
Sucked into the future, we’ve gone
from one war to another, jungle to desert.
Madness, not peace, guides the planets,
though pot’s now legal and computers
save trees. California’s burning,
Miami sinks into the sea, and hate
steers the stars.
Now we drink the moonshine
of old age, those of us who survive
in the twilight.
What’s needed is a burial mound,
a bog in which to deposit our bones,
to be discovered eons hence by a farmer
cutting peat for the hearth of her cottage
thatched with cosmic straw, wondering
who is this creature preserved in acid,
a tanned leather visage, a woman like herself,
We Sit and Watch
Years ago, archaic projectors
flashed home movies, the ancient
tap dance of children running in backyards
or blowing out candles—until the ribbon
of film ran out, crackling as it fishtailed.
Then came slide projectors holding
memories in carousels that clicked
and circled the decades. And tonight,
after magic wrought by a big box store,
a smart tv plays discs, already obsolete.
The decades swim before us
like extinct fish as we identify this cousin,
that friend, mostly dead except
the babies, now all grown up and living afar,
houses bought and sold, clothing laughable,
hair ridiculous, but at least, still there.
You say to me, after half an hour,
how sad you are at the faces long gone,
the youthful bodies now old or worse.
We pop out the discs from the machine
that can still read them, still prick us
with souvenirs of endless vacations,
eternal youth. We ask ourselves
who would want it now, the playback,
or after we we’re gone, and who’d want
the photo albums where glue has long since
dried up to scatter our lives
among the brittle pages.
Donna Pucciani, a Chicago-based writer, has published poetry worldwide in Shi Chao Poetry, Poetry Salzburg, The Pedestal, ParisLitUp, Voice and Verse, Agenda, Journal of Italian Translation, and other journals. Her seventh and most recent collection of poetry is EDGES.