Rejoinder

I passed a man sending a message

on his cell phone on a motorcycle

I yelled do you want to die or to

kill someone startled he looked

at me and lost his balance and fell

but before his body hit the ground

he melted into a cloud of ground

cloves and severed wings and orange

peels his bike went on without him

its engine humming symphonic Gs

with overtones of dust.

There is a truck bearing milk

there is a stooped man with

a round belly and a sliver of

sackcloth perched on his head

he is wearing two watches one

ticking local time and the other

standing still on Jerusalem time

there is a beautiful woman whose

eyes are crossed and whose hair

is covered in leaves and bubbles.

Maybe he wasn’t sending a message

I think my tongue is raw from citrus

juice and regret the fingers on my hands

swell until I can no longer grasp my pen

and I am forced to dictate my poems to

passersby and passerbies  might I maybe

rest my weary words on the slope of your

shoulders or in a puddle squiggling by your

aching palms alas no one speaks English here

not the man with the stovepipe hat or the child

with her lunchbox full of knives perhaps one of

the refugees but none will look in my eyes which

are green and purple and puffing air in and out

like sphygmomanometers.

Why has no one noticed that there are air

starved birds in this very bus and people

holding guns and the floor is covered in

chips of gold that rattle we need to stop

I yell to the driver but his ears are covered

in moss and he sits frozen something is nibbling

at his bare feet this is the sound of a green and

purple waterfall I realize now that the man was

holding a glass of water the end.

Advertisements