The auctioneer holds in his hands
all the years we yearn for.
Not that far from high school
we already see the hardness
of our wishes, how we would’ve shed
our allowances to go to an auction
where adult years were sold cheap.
Where for a single night we could
be eighteen or have sex or even just
drive or act like somebody’s
mother. Or shed the bridles
of our costly educations and
get a dead-end job or a good one,
anything but this. The highest bids
go for childhood and wisecrack old
age: times when the body
is shooting toward the future
too fast for thought. He says
the corners of life are when
people forget to ask to do it
more than once, the times
bidders know for rock-certain
that they’ll all get to do all of it.
The auctioneer raises the price
even of fragments he knows
nobody wants, nobody will remember.