two ships nestled into their respective births
don’t have the same habit of dogs,
that oh so romantic smelling of asses,
to make sure each has its shit together
or to make sure each is terrible, lonely, imperfect,
and as a result
ripe for an encounter
all twisted up together
but anyway, I was talking about ships.
“don’t ya see baby,” says the more tattered of the two
bobbing and rocking every which way,
making a real spectacle of itself
a well deserved spectacle
like some vintage bottle of wine dancing on the shelf.
“my clinging,” continues the tattered,
“happens every year at this time,
during summer’s final joyride”
and right about then,
a wind picks up and
the nose of the newer ship rubs up on the tattered ships’s side.
the surrounding leaves appear in agreement,
changing colors ever so slightly.
i was out walking on one of those paths designated for walking
so there weren’t any cars,
but humans in fluorescent colored shoes swarmed all around
it looked like crayolas stuffed into a meat grinder
i squinted my eyes,
hoping it would go away,
but only saw a pinwheel and
the volume increased as well
yes, it got louder
probably because my eyes were almost closed.
i heard some ticktock escapement
maybe the speedometers of death?
a bad dream chase?
i slipped off the path
to where the trees looked wild,
but now it was the mosquitoes swarming and loud.
it was like being lost in a bad signal tv screen,
all that fuzz and buzz.
that’s when I realized,
there was no escape.
the hospital cafeteria has pizza and patients attached to iv poles,
there’s expensive perfume and the smell of matted hair and bed sores.
people sit at tribal-all-together tables and
other people sit all alone,
but everything melted down
sounds like a symphony of ouch
like anywhere else i guess.
why don’t they serve beer here?
there were spiders in my head and
so i trusted the pedals and wind,
and thoughts, worries, and anxieties began to melt away.
those spiders suddenly felt more like a moving company,
portaging delusions into my mind
and now portaging them out,
so i rode some more
and forgot all about destinations.
i rip clothes from my back,
sheets from my bed
and stuff them in the washing machine
like the end of a grail or something.
i push a few buttons and lift up the lid.
there’s a flood forming in the cabin
and then the thing in the middle
referred to as “the agitator” in the Maytag manual
begins to twist and not really shout,
but makes some sort of noise.
there’s a lot of splish splash taking a bath
and a little later
the high-speed spin cycle kicks in,
blurs all the contents,
round and round a while
such a groove that I almost forget about the washing machine,
but then I hear a click and a
s-l-o-w-i-n-g d-o-w-n and
a very noticeable silence
an even louder silence than before i turned the machine on.
the mothership has landed,
a new life again.
kent park is not fenway park,
but there is a baseball diamond and
people run round the bases
and round and around they go
late at night
high on something
hungry for someone no longer there,
itching at an already amputated limb,
like suicides reappearing in
new bodies and new tongues.
*painting by colorsetbrushes
they give an immigrant a t-shirt
her three kids get one too,
says the name of the city and country on the front.
i like their smiles.
maybe they’ll be on a tourist brochure one day.
i have coins to exchange for some beer so i do and
walk to the railroad tracks and make a toast
to that immigrant family,
hoping they feel good in their new land of less death
and i make a second toast,
to the suicides
who didn’t feel so good in this land of less death
i take a big swig and
hope everyone feels a little bit freer
wherever their next step may be.