Life Raft and the Needle

Go to sleep and dream of origami,
your passport stamped salami.
Come home and brag about Brussels.
Scream at your mom and dad,
‘I’m tired of the American hustle!’

There’s six Canada goose around the pond, honking at the cars.
I’m wandering in bars, looking for a gentle heart that’s fond
of the pedestal I place her on, hope she’ll settle for my mettle,
my stars, and my fawn.

This year I’m not going to count the months.
I’m going to clean out the fridge.
I’m not going to write poems that rhyme.
Nope, not at all; except this time.

I’m a night sailor, blind tailor.
Scooping dirt from the garden
to fill up my coffee pot. Stitching
blankets from Brillo pads.
It gets hot a lot.

Your favorite Loteria card
is El Corazon.
Mine’s El Borracho.
We both have dirty dishwater eyes,
we use to see through lies.
Yo trabajo.

Even if I was a watchmaker
—  I couldn’t make time with you.

You’re like Jesse James
and the painting on the wall…
Was he lost in its charm? was it crooked?
could he see the coward  Robert Ford in the reflection?
did he laugh at his imminent death, if just for a second?

This canyon made of crayon,
painted colorless and dark,
traps me in its meandering palm.
Canyon walls like cannonballs,
shaking the ground, exploding,
falling, disintegrating
all around.

Let’s make a painting
about any damn thing.

The only way out is to take the river.
You’re a life raft and I’m a needle.



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