Wind chimes carve
large swaths out of the air
announcing the doors of Paradise
will be closing for another era.
A red-speckled salamander
in his window well fiefdom
searches for maps
among a library of debris.
Have the monarchs
left for Mexico by now?
in a slow avalanche of translucent color
their chorus imposes a silent hum
upon the second earth.
They carry living embers
to wacah chan in Palenque.
Sitting in lawn chairs, we ripen
as we have done so many times before.
Our cocoons are threadbare.
We waste away into long shadow-fingers
falling across the setting orange-peel sun.
When you look through the choppy water
you wonder if those dark rocks
are really black-eyed sharks
And the grassy seaweed
is really phosphorus eels.
By the way
the jellyfish are really jellyfish
…and maybe the stinging kind.
It doesn’t matter though.
Your wooden boat
is splintering against the reef.
you’re going to get wet
…and no amount of Dramamine will help.
Its the decent thing to do, so I thought. Being ‘Now’ I need to get rid of that decrepit old guy lurking in my future to say nothing of that kid following me around. Saddle shoes, really?
The obvious problem is ‘how’. If I throw a shovel in the trunk wrap myself in a carpet and fall in can I expect my car to follow through?
Few people know this but birds, other than a few that are victims of hunting accidents and jet engines simply catch a special updraft and dissolve in the refined atmosphere at the end. ‘Disappear into thin air’, if you will. Have you ever seen a bird cemetery? I rest my case. It’s their aerial rite.
“I’m trying to be responsible here!” I tell the clerk behind the counter of my hotel. He smiles looking up from a game of solitaire before him just like he does every morning when I leave the lobby to walk into my life. “Hey, I’m just trying to be you!” I plead. He smiles unconvinced, but always amused. As I turn to walk into the street, in the corner of my eye I catch him slowly shaking his head.
Now, I assure myself, this is a definite sign of progress! No updraft, but progress none the less.
The rolling thunder of a jet at night, the dried leaves flickering the pathway; a hollow stump full of owl hunters nip whiskey and tilt a hideaway lantern to the north revealing the wind that snaps branches.
Blue silk and pearls,
she sits in the Cafe of Last Resort.
Absinth and iodine in a tumbler before her.
She waits beneath a fan that spins slower than the earth
for someone to deliver an exit visa.
A sole violin weeps longingly in the background.
Her extreme beauty works against her;
others’ motives are always suspect.
No one approaches her table…again today,
She knows she cannot leave.
Men with thin mustaches grin and nod at her from the bar,
but she sees no refection in the mirror behind them.
That cannot be good, she reasons.
And of course, she is right.
She has chosen passionate disaster before.
Dithering between self-indulgence and self-denial
is a subtle form of self-abuse.
She will twist and squeeze her wrist until her pearls yellow
and the perspiration above lip turns blue.
Perhaps in the morning she will fly a colorful kite in the meadow.
Slip across the border with gypsies.
Her hair can be tied up; a cotton dress perhaps and barefoot.
No one would recognize her.
Or arise with the early mist to glide through the trees to the sea
to escape on a freighter
and maybe marry a sea captain…or a marine scientist
and raise beautiful children in Bimini or on the outskirts of Rio.
Maybe forget men all together and teach archery to nuns in a Spanish convent.
Anything is possible, she thinks.
She will try again tomorrow.