Cortez Was Nobody’s Dog

“Cortez just had more horses and canons…”
she came up saying, breathing through a scuba tank.
I watched her dive back down and rip the coral to pieces.

Do you know where you’ll be in 5 years? 15?

From out there, bobbing up and down on the waves,
the landmass looked like any other, just a smudge really,
it could have been the Maldives, or the coast of Spain,
it could have been California,
for all I really knew.

“Are you awake?”
“Did you really mean what you said?”
“No. Yes… maybe.”

He had a nervous habit of bouncing his leg up and down.
I’d often think it was an Earthquake but it was just him,
thinking about falling in love again. The dynamite burned
down and lit the cake on fire so there’s nothing left to celebrate.
He would write things in a small notebook that he kept
in his suitcoat pocket, things he didn’t share with the rest of us.

I went through my phone and erased the numbers I don’t call
anymore, and then I went through my photo album and threw
away all the pictures of myself, because I don’t want to look

The one in my cap and gown.
The one taken in Yosemite.
The one next to Mickey Mouse.
The one where I’m barely smiling.
The one in my scuba mask.

In 5 years you may be an alcoholic, or no longer be…
The bottle may cease to call your name lovingly,
you may resist it, or run to it. Your cells will be on
their way to being completely new, and so might you.

Today doesn’t mean anything more than yesterday.
The Romans didn’t burn down Rome, it fell apart
due to disinterest. Today is a slightly older version
of yesterday. A few more wrinkles around the eyes.

Your skin is drying out in this empyrean sun.
You moisturize it but still the flakes get everywhere.
The flakes swirl around tornadically in the slanted sunlight.
Like a projector aimed at your decay. Underneath your flesh
is a subatomic ballet. Blood flows. Organs inflate.
Your skin is just a curtain to a world of movement.
Your pillowcase is full of it. Skin. Cells. Dreams. Death.

“Lewis & Clark had six Indian guides with them…”
I told him while he was cutting his fingernails and bitching
about HER.  “See. N0body can do it alone,” he replied.

In 25 years you may be a philosopher king
residing over a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.
You may be a ski instructor in Argentina.
A painter, admiring the light in the south of France.
But probably, you’ll be smiling at the birds in the sky,
and the little sparrows strutting around on the ground,
in a one-story house in the valley, still writing your first novel.
You only have one story, and you won’t stop talking about it.

The Modern Age is doing a number on me.

Train whistles.
Car alarms.
Tea kettles.
Cell phone calls.
Tornado sirens.
Church bells.

Put your fingers in your mouth and gently blow,
I’ll come running to your feet and you’ll know,
in that instant, that I’ll happily be your dog.


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