Moonrise Through Seriffed, Pidgin Clouds
Hang it all, Dogfish, the cypress
Swamps have yet to learn
Your language, an old
Man’s beard dripping afterthoughts of rain & mist
The pirogue, sifting dingy algae & snakes’ teeth.
What of the other conflagrations
Or the tenampas you’ve staked out
In the garden near the boathouse, the pets
You keep there: water monsters & caimans;
A Burmese python, guanacos;
White-breasted Peruvian cormorants;
Screech owls, bats;
Twice-stabbed ladybirds, butterflies
& snails—an earth dragon that lives
In the doghouse—& numerous pulque
Deities who represent the stars
Ensconced amongst the allthorns
& dithering legs of grass
Hammocking as far as the threat of water
Drowning in a badly managed warehouse
Stocked with sticks of cedar & yew & knee-deep mire.
Wisteria & dogwood, ipomoea
Azaleas, euphorbia, agave, urn
Flowers & quince. We’ll dine
On each Other, tearing flesh
From bone, squash flowers
As a savory & a jubilant sophrosyne
We’ll savor as we chug whortleberry
Wine straight from the gourd.
We’ll decorate the table
With rhizomes, thistle & thyme—quail
& pomegranate—Tlaloc’s marigold
Sceptre set in a jelly-beaned vase
As a centerpiece, golden numerals
Lit for candles. We’ll trade barbs & quips, discuss
The most recent advances in xenolinguistics
Talk about the weather & how long
It will last, tour the City of the Dead
As brothers—arm in arm—walking among
The teocallis & skull racks, remarking on the fine
Bardiglio sculptures. Some of the dead
Are buried in limestone sarcophagi—
Comme ça—Others, standing up
Wrapped in shrouds or gavilined.
We hear their voices all the time—
Eerily similar to an oboe’s solo—
In the sigh of on-shore winds
Where sea & sky meet & perfectly
Form a seamless blue fabric that enshrouds us all.
Leibniz & Spinoza shared the notion
Of an "adequate idea" of the dead
Of which I have none & neither—apparently—
Do you except to say you seems
To have all the marks of ideation.
You tried to tune into the nowhere
On the glowering cobalt dial
But nothing came in so we pulled off
On an un-marked, gravelled road, growled to a stand-
Still on a faceless beach facing east.
You pointed to the Pleaides high overhead
Called out their names over the seemingly
Inky black sea in Malay, Yaqui, & Nahuatl:
"Bintang baniak! Vahtekoim! Tianquiztli!"
We sat on the sand, listened to the softly purling
Surf & the land crabs as they scurried along
The scurfy beach & the stars in the skinkling
Sky, all zugzwang, rife & noosed.