Shipwreck City, USA
Gangs & banging arcades. Underbelly
exposed as bone in broad daylight.
This isthmus hour. You ease against
the Beef Barn's dank wall
where upside-down question-mark
hooks dangle. Ghost-ocean
floor. Loosen your tourniquet
noose. Chemical grenades
go off jet- & flotsam in your brain.
Rain-sensation beetles your veins.
In its wake, fiberglass & neon. Ferris
Wheel, sun warped boardwalk.
You light a cigarette. The pinball
world sizzles orange & hot green.
Nekton nonthoughts flood you.
Is it aesthetically okay to treat suffering
in so lovely & artful a way? asks
a fan's rusted propeller blades.
Somewhere in the heat: traffic. Maroon
blister where blood has crisped.
The ship inside the bottle
of the syringe, capsizing.
And you, the good captain
standing there, drowning.
Black out, a sack wrangled over the turned
away head. Next the crystal vase temperature
dropped & a whistling seethed thru the streets' &
trees' citron teeth. I was snow-blinded—the
darkness utterly (as in, it seemed to speak) of darker
deprivation—then the end of an eclipse.
Had I not been paying attention not
only would I have missed it, but I would've missed
missing it. Had I not been left behind, had
I not not slept or woke. I swore a mountain
range once obstructed this view, & now scud; sink-
holes where tunnels burrowed, confusion
in the gardens. Is the landscape its own creature?
When faced with chaos the brain attempts
to quarantine the chaos: the hypothermic strips,
then folds away his clothes; the touched by
an angel speaks in tongues, writhes like snake. I
name the absences yesterday. While Everest surrenders
to itself, the light from outer space finds its way
thru, but more oft than not, it's already dead.
Murmuring from room to unraveling room, a boat
arrows into the narrow empty beyond the shallows.
I'm chilled to be part of this ending
where the ocean splays & is splaying, a placebo
of broken jewelry the Vitruvian clouds expose
themselves to. The trick is to see what is
not there, aperture capturing certain faraway
stars whom no longer exist & yet radiate photon, tentacle
out to us. Or how your bereft hands
motion, a subtle weave though you've long ago abandoned
your loom. Its absence exactly where you left
it. Now a moon hatches across your brow, loons flood
from your eyes, feathers & small platoons of navigating
light you study the warp & weft of.