The Dodo in Me

I never know how much to water my plants.
I never know when to let the cat out.
I always forget to bring my towel to the shower.
I always mistake the streetlamp for the moon.

We were walking down a cobblestone street,
stoned, cobbling together our thoughts and more
in this old European city of prostitutes and lords.
Didn’t know if I was a giant or a gnat or none of that.

You’re charming… and alarming.
I’m joking… and not joking.
We ate under holiday lights in June,
spilling $100 bottles of wine down our sleeves,
talking loudly, using SAT words and
long analogies to impress our neighbors.

And the whole time
they couldn’t hear a thing.

I came home from college with a chip on my shoulder and a wife…
and I still have the chip.

There’s a monster in the closet, but it doesn’t have sharp teeth,
it’s not big and it’s not mean. It’s just writing down everything
that I say in my sleep, and emailing me it in the morning…

I want it dead.

If you saw me walking through the streets of L.A.,
and it looked like I was trudging through snow,
would you think I was crazy? Or would you realize
it’s the invisible Sherpa’s pack
where I packed my tin can…
and my camera,
my field map,
and the diorama
of every extinct animal:
insect, reptile, and mammal–
even the scavengers–
that we left behind on this panorama.

Sunset to La Brea to Melrose
and home…

The trucks. The smog.
The playboys in Porsches.
The blonde girls in Jettas.
The rev-rev of motorcycles.
The ever-present loop of my brain
trying to read every tossed glance,
every storefront window display,
every towering naked billboard,
like a book about the apocalypse
being written in front of me.

I’m on page 367.
It says…

We are the last dodo birds,
strutting across the hot sand,
dancing on burning coals,
waving goodbye to our ghosts,
leaving divots in a destroyed land.



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