Except by Balloon Summer of 2021

Except by Balloon Summer of 2021

Yes, it’s been two years since my last physical,
Dr. Li. With the pandemic, public transportation
the way it is, and being retired, I just ballooned.

Grew fat that is: ballooning is on my bucket list—
imagine over the Grand Canyon or even Queens.
You must have had it rough, add being Chinese.

Sure, of course: you had to make more referrals
to psychiatrists. Me? Just the usual: drinking
way too much and insomnia. I could be more…

productive. It’s a lonely struggle with the when,
the how, of course the big why. Who cares
about poetry, especially when it gets political—

when all comes down to I have mine, get lost,
the world is ending soon anyway. And here
comes legalized marijuana to New York City!

The kids are saving up their allowances for that.
Will add a whole new dimension to dumbing
down, putting down, keeping down a generation.

Sure, I know I should stop drinking. I know it’s
killing me. I ask who will come to my funeral?
I’d like it to be on an island no one can reach,

if not by a giant carnival hot air balloon. But
will that ride really matter to me then? Who?

Andrés Castro, a PEN member, is listed in Poets & Writers Directory. He regularly posts work on his personal blog, The Practicing Poet: Dialogue to Creativity, Poetry, and Liberation.