At night my hat disappears.
And then my coat, scarf,gloves, my watch with the time inside it
bravely marching forward. I wish I had a dog to walk.
I wish I had an animal to feed and clean up after. Something
to make a noise when I get home, to see the shadow
of my hat and wag its tail in acceptance.
The hat resting softly with its complex history of masculine principles:
helmets and berets, stocking caps, Stetsons. Ten-gallon
Texans and Australian straws.
Did my grandfather wear one the nights he took my grandmother
to the white speakeasies in Chinatown?
And my brother? What is he wearing while the snow in Detroit
falls on all the new cars? My father once wore a lampshade.
Life of the party circa 1975.
I wore a cowboy hat until my head grew, then I replaced it with a red plastic
fireman’s engine #9. Made new plans. Had new dreams.
The hat which disappeared tonight was a good hat. Something
I could have worn in the garden, something
I could have worn downtown. Mon chapeau! The hat I love
has gone back to Panama and Germany, Texas and bitter South Dakota.