Einstein & Etta James

I’m fourteen when Einstein is

in Princeton

he’s old & heading out of breath
as I am fresh and new at breathing
in some

but there the landscapes of the space
between our ears divides


Al used levers of mind to lift 
mass in time while mine
took to
bass of R & B
which thumped in heads
and loins in adolescent

Einstein’s gone, but his poster’s on our wall
—if you were stepping down our stairs you’d
glimpse him

in overcoat and hat strolling through our stairwell
wry smile, moustache, life-sized, black and white,
shedding light on light (you couldn’t
miss him)

same moment: mid-fifties
bluesy Etta James, was
anything but

she was strong and sexy
beautiful and sure

so I weighed the heft of
his and hers and took them both
to mind and heart and lately find,
in terms of back-and-forths between the two,
there certainly has
been some

I admired them both and
then some

by Jim and…