Archive for: May, 2006

The Tiger

God made the birds
But the birds
Made the tigers
Did you know that?
They lined us up
On the jungle floor
They said
We made your eyes deep
We sharpened your teeth
We tied them together
With string
One will always do
To the other

They said
We will bind
Your ribs
With stripes

Pull my tail
I will unravel
I will lay my head
On your belly
Finally
Finally

The Salesman

The salesman
On the stairway
Looks up to see
Nude women
In the window

Their skin is pink
His tongue is pink
He is afraid
He may never speak again
He is ashamed of color

From the middle of his eye
The blackest river
Poured out
We rode it to heaven
On little boats
Everyone was nude

He was never
Ashamed
Of color
Again

The salesman
On the stairway
Looks down
At his shaking hands
They are pink

County Fair

I walked
With a friend
Who died
Through
The county fair
In a dream
Many years ago
The eye
Could not rest
On any one thing
I saw the ferris wheel
As though
Through gauze
She said,
“I can’t
Watch out
For you
Anymore.
I Have places
I need to be.”
I said
“Tell me one thing.
Have you seen
My father?
Did he ever get
To where
He wanted to be?”
But she only
Turned her face
Away.
And all
The dead people
Waited in line
To get back
On the ferris wheel
Somewhere someone
Looked at my father
As though
Through gauze

Holding Hands At Best

As one day
Changes vases for its flowers
Another lays a dress
The first will keep the vases
The last will wear its final rest
Both are touching fingertips
Or holding hands at best
As one day
Turns the stove knobs
Another makes
A bone for dog
The first will cook
The lamb and hog
The last will give
Gravedigger jobs
Both are touching fingertips
Or holding hands at best
As one day
Picks the children up
Another lays them down
All men will need
A darker hat
On every street in town
The first will pour
Pitcher, cup!
The last will bag the cat
For river is its destination
And water is it’s time
As one day calls
The fireman
Another calls a crime
The okra in the fountain
The dollhouse in the boat
The taxman on the mountain
Parade fire on the float
As one day sweeps their ashes
Another tracks them in
A preacher buys a darker hat
And never speaks again.

At His Feet The Drunks Of Love

My soul was sleeping
In the milk,
I yelled at him
To breathe
His face as white
As the moon,
Like the mayor
Drunk at noon,
Blowing kisses
At the whores,
At his feet
The drunks of love
Were sleeping
On the barroom floors
Now that he is loose
He wanders,
Bathing
In my streams
Eating from my garden.
If I find him
Asleep in the milk
I will yell at him
To breathe