Michael Milburn


Harvard, 1976

Back when Facebook
was just the face book,
a hardbound freshman directory,
Tim kept the 1965 edition 
open to Gram Parsons’ photo
on our coffee table
as he slept through 
classes on the couch, 
that book smart rock star 
dead of drugs at twenty-six
Tim’s ideal of fuck you flair,
mine being Robert Creeley’s head-clearing walks 
from his dorm toward dingy Arlington,
then away from Cambridge for good.
Tim’s a business manager 
for a high school now,
and I’m a teacher in one, 
both of us balding
and ripe to retire,
whatever strength or solace
our models provided
wired into us in a way 
we’ll never outgrow, 
grounded in sorrow.

Michael Milburn teaches English in New Haven, CT. He is the author of three books of poems and a book of essays.