But what about bewilderment and the bewildered? The chance meeting of a dusky drowse with a stormy-gray late afternoon. Immaculate light meeting cobalt darkness in the lonely garbage-can alley. My electric mouth kissing your pink fingers one by one in aubergine ecstasy.
I have come to an important decision: I’ve had enough to drink. I’ve had enough of this salt air and these nights of dry smiles. Oh city of brick, oh house of dimming stars, my ancient rusting instruments.
sympathize with horses, who unrolled the plains. grass grew wide
in their tracks. yes, it’s on odd world, Dan, beyond our reasons.
might as well count violets, weigh wind, chart the angle of an eagle’s glance,
ask which nuclear bomb the US used to blow holes near the Colorado River.
Was he in Hawaii like he’d been
once in another dream?
Was he flying without wings with his daughter beside him
before they roused him from whatever lousy joy
with a baton at the window with a show me your hands
One day it’s my 33-year-old cousin found dead in bed from an overdose; another day, it’s high school seniors raising their arms in the Nazi salute for a yearbook photo; another, it’s government protesters washing with bottles of Coke to help minimize the sting of tear gas.
with whispering gasps both knew passionate power lust and optimistic love appearing before them in the language of ghosts accused of being tour guides of loss mastering the imagination which was inspired by little toy soldiers
icebreaking with melts with lunch
in the lurches of steeples
viral as medical substitutions of unstung stringers however the baby swims
in the bathwater pitch-plumb
for the knickers in venous splashes of bloods
Poetry, like cartography, can condense
the world aesthetically, until we see
that the last line of my poem is not ambiguous,
but lucid, perfectly lucid: “More delicate than
the historians’ are the map-makers’ colors.”