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442
Wild Orphan

Blandly mother
takes him strolling
by railroad and by river
--he's the son of the absconded
hot rod angel--
and he imagines cars
and rides them in his dreams,

so lonely growing up among
the imaginary automobiles
and dead souls of Tarrytown

to create
out of his own imagination
the beauty of his wild
forebears--a mythology
he cannot inherit.

Will he later hallucinate
his gods? Waking
among mysteries with
an insane gleam
of recollection?

The recognition--
something so rare
in his soul,
met only in dreams
--nostalgias
of another life.

A question of the soul.
And the injured
losing their injury
in their innocence
--a cock, a cross,
an excellence of love.

And the father grieves
in flophouse
complexities of memory
a thousand miles
away, unknowing
of the unexpected
youthful stranger
bumming toward his door.

New York, April 13, 1952

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