Be worried. Be very worried.
says the cover of Time Magazine
but the next month it says
The Truth about Soccer Moms
and I hold my head like a beach ball
under my arm, ready for the next challenger.
Because we are living in a disposable world
and I am a disposable word.
Also, mascara has nothing to do
with the destruction of Madagascar
my good hard working people.
My love I am swimming to you
through these yellow flags, nipple tassels,
and confetti, like a sperm on Red Bull
in the cross-hatch of anovulatory mucous
paddling toward the faint outline
of our son, in a shooting gallery
of the future. Given current conditions,
it’s probably best not to fertilize
for at least another 500 years. Meanwhile,
let us find new centers of feeling:
the grounded shrimp boat, the card catalog,
the man in the cement mixer, paused
at a crossing, talking on his cell phone
to the third daughter of his second marriage,
as a train passes bringing a half day’s mountain
of light to the city. At least it still looks
like a strawberry someone is playing
on a violin, to someone else stringing
windows on a necklace of
distance. And am I doing anything
worth the mound of coal lighting my heart?
I am watching the snow fall
into the abyss, blanket the earth with blue dusk,
or on to my love’s tongue. When morning comes,
grandeur rises from the crevasse of mist
only to exhaust itself trying to cross
these prairie towns. Madagascar
has nothing to do with the scar on my heart
or with the destruction of Madagascar.
Originally published in AGNI.