Poetry by Dessa Bayrock
Robin Williams II
When Robin Williams died it lit up a hollow in my chest
where I guess Flubber had been sitting all those years.
How did I forget that mouthless, bouncing ball,
and its rumpled creator, and his sad old dog-dark eyes?
These things skewered me, over and over,
rewound and replayed at least once a week
until the tape fell apart in my hands.
And yet, most of all, I felt sorry for this hangdog magician,
this man who produced miracles but was believed by no one,
the man who lost his family out of naiveté or neglect,
the man who couldn’t even play basketball.
Even as a kid, I knew this was a cautionary tale:
the last thing you should ever want in the world
is to turn out like Robin Williams.
And yet, years later,
I’m a crumpled magician turning out flubber of my own -
sheets and sheets of something luminous, mouthless,
bright and uncontrollable. I, too, am both happy and unhappy
in my own quiet way, aching with something inside me
which I have no name for, and hardly remember is there,
until Robin Williams dies.