Closing in is the problem.
The gulf is nauseating, the grand canyon is
filled with choppy hands reaching through the surface.
Slipping home across black ice,
one becomes an object of ridicule,
the butt of the joke, presuming so much
about tattletale fortune, bumping into lightposts
while searching for the way home.
Little barbed telescopes take notice
but hardly translate those tiny photographic crumbs
into the sieve through which your insides melt
as your breaths whittle away your body…
or like being beamed out from the inside,
particles of small gut disintegrating into gelatinous
wormcastings, mucousy, fibrous, sticky,
all evaporating into stainless steel cans
or a Ferris Wheel spinning out, or training to hover
a bit more like the spark from a match just
before it becomes fire. The incense smells familiar
filling out the scene, attaching a clear sky
and grass and some flowery warm air which is
sunned incompatibly with your white skin.
Tanning oil smells reach up, crotches wide with aches
tidal wave Romulus desires, cartilage lawns
wafting pleasant compost smells, coconut guile.
Sedentary floss for one tartar free breath
scales the icy surface under the tripod
making walking impossible. There’s only one
way, and it’s not kosher, or maybe it is. The gulf is
only a transition into deep grief, only part way,
but washing the tears away helps
to dry up the river, which in turn shrinks the gulf.
Then angels appear along the shore as the sea recedes,
quiet little creatures who barely speak
at least not directly, and they hover around
(though you think it’s all you,)
and you’re released of the burden
momentarily. They beckon
and seem to languish at your stupidity,
but they forgive you, and bear your burden for you,
they actually float it off your back onto theirs
though you usually don’t even notice.
Again, you think it’s all you,
but deep inside, you know it’s not.
It’s they and you together, making a new compound,
a new gas, which fills balloons
and floats them up into the blue coconut sky
and takes words with them into the
burning sun, the warm, vapid joy
of turning, spinning on the bottom of a top
with the center always having been there,
careening wet jalopy red chitty chitty bang bang
hills are a live, chim-chiminy banisters
and soot covered steeples, please, sir,
may I have some more, doubting thomases,
lost beavers lodged under logs, thinking
we know what we’re doing. Songs
tell us all we need to forget, but we forget to forget
after 30 seconds, or a phone call.
The ice is slippery, except where it’s not,
and anti-lock brakes give you the jitters
since there is no dress rehearsal anytime.
When the plug’s finally pulled the brakes smell
burned and all that money slips away, no value left.
But not the coconut creams, no, they
are dry by now, having salted their duty,
and stuck to those once swollen nipples
encased in lemons puckers with shy smiles,
crusty filmed, neutered embryos, maggots
writhing with life, dead to the world.
They too, pass through the sieve.
When does the butterfly drown?
How often? How often?