I fear one day the bus will leave me behind.
This will be the day the world ends.
Rolling blackouts will darken entire neighborhoods
the streets litter with people.
Restaurants robbed of their electricity will try to make one last profit
by serving salads and cold plates by candlelight,
busboys swiftly maneuvering to not crashing into each other,
while waiters calculate the bill by hand.
Taxis will charge $200 for the six-mile ride across the bridge,
a stretch that can’t be walked alone
because of looters
and high heels.
I fear I’ll miss that bus by a few seconds
for reasons beyond my control:
I had to stay late for work or
I hit every red light as I walk to the bus station.
The doors will close mere inches away from my
nose, nearly snapping it off.
And when I flag down the $200 cabbie,
I quickly realize that I have no money
so I must trade sexual favors with the driver
in order to get home.
And I’ll find that a ride that would normally take 15 minutes
will take the entire night
because he will drive very slow.
And maybe I’ll never get home.
Maybe I’ll never walk up the steep hill to my house,
to rush behind the gated door,
so I can peer out onto the ensuing madness from the window.
If I lived off-road
off river, down a path
blurred with puddles
like a Rorschach portrait,
beside a copse of small trees
named no forest, no wood,
this road un-adopted,
wild flowers only weeds
I would walk naked
all day long; and I wanted to piss
I’d open a window
If I wanted to play
I’d lie down in a ditch
and fire sun-spots at the moon.
When I needed to speak
I’d grunt, when I needed to feed
and when I needed to think
the way I need to think now,
I’d run screaming round the house
until the need died with me,
and all that remained
would be a body in a house
a ghost in the attic
wearing out his life, alone.
back on that same beach 35 years later
there are ghosts of course in the sand
hills. (white flames of fleeing memory)
those arteries through the beach brush
and the poison Ivy. those sinister alleys
that everyone used guiltily for the most
basic of human pursuits high in the hills
it’s mean hot on my old lizard hide
I can feel the sun push down on me
I think I am deaf with the heaviness
of the haze. the beach has me on its
palm. it laughs in a rumbling baritone
the sun makes my eyelids dance and then
I know I am not deaf for the bombing surf’s
tremors against the earth. as rhythmic and
brutal as those moments stolen from sex.
There are ghosts in the sand hills and there
are we, about to be ghosts. we are here in
secrecy. In mourning. we pass through one
another as easily as batons of white flame
I want every living prostitute
In the entire world
To feel delighted in life.
Surely they deserve it more
Than any banker.
I want all the whores
In the world to be happy.
I want them to wake and smile
Like any relaxed christian.
I want every sex paid man and woman
To go asleep
To the following day.
I want them to walk the streets
With struts of content
Being alive and living too.
They deserve it.
They certainly deserve it.
If there were no rain,
there would be
far too little noise on the roof
or upon the window pane
that would distract us
from the pulse in our inner ear
through the silence at night,
no gutter song to lull us to sleep,
no applause of wet leaves
for thirst-quenching relief.
In a cloudless sky
and barren landscape,
the rain would no longer
astonish our senses
with torrents that flood the riverbeds
then angrily fall from summit’s edge
upon boulders that spray
a foaming mane of platinum.
Car wheels would pass like a cough,
the absence of a splash
that might instigate our adrenalin,
administers calm instead.
The sky would no longer
be crowded with giant gray eyelids
that occasionally coax
the sun to sleep
and allow us to focus
upon the mysterious messages
their odd, translucent shapes impart.
Without the rain,
our very lives would drift instead,
against the cobalt blue,
twinkling and as aimless as dust.