Mr. Mann Cuts a Record

I am trying to recover
my history, he said.
I am creating back story.
Put birth here in some year
gray as stone. Fill in
school. The buzz-cut 50s.
Learn to kiss a girl.
Later, jazz. Cigarettes.
Marriages blow through
the trees. What is it like
to be old? Hold a torch.
Plunge it into
an ice-cold stream.