With a tip of the watering can
to Eduardo Galeano
I'm fond of the Dream Water Boy,
his watering can of burnished silver,
hid quick shortened steps as he edges between
rows of lettuce, each head singing its part.
They glory in Adestes Fideles, except for the
tenor who has wilted in hot sun.
The Dream Water Boy has errands
but spares a spritz of water for the tenor romaine,
which straightens on middle C
and refreshed, sings ahead of the the others
to an early finish.
Chilies click nearby on their stems,
giving a samba beat and the Dream Water Boy
begins to cha cha cha across the lawn spilling
precious dream-drops as he goes.
One falls on the quick brown fox who licks
his snout at the scent of chicken in the pot.
Another falls on the chicken who squawks
at a sky full of sharpened teeth.
Come here, DreamWater Boy, before
there is nothing left in your watering can.
I am in need of dreams and you are spilling
them like seeds and we know
the water in the bottom holds the sludge
Last time, my nimble Dreamkin, you
squandered the top water on three frogs and a spider.
By the time you got to me, dragons and
hagfish jumbled out, all gaping mouths
and fiery breath.
It was all I could do to hold them off,
insisting they had important archtypes to discuss.
"It's summer," I persisted, "archtypes do not
appear until winter, or at the least, fall."
I need dreams that frolic and contain pastel.
I want to swim in Aegean waters
with sirens and mermaids.
The Dream Water Boy is flagging, his shoulder
droops and the can dips. If I hurry
perhaps I can slide under
the spillage, and I pick up my barberpole legs
and begin to ponk ponk in his direction.
As I launch myself over slippery grass,
the spray changes to rust. Scaly fingers
poke out the sprinkler holes and bat wings
rise over the opening. Too late. Nightmare water
pours, gurgling and spitting, and I
slide, my body hot with this mistake,
dig my fingers into dirt;
I need brakes, but the ground is wet as ooze,
just the thing for bog creatures
and maddened toadfish.
Stop pouring, Dream Water Boy.
Pick up the spout.
Oh I am doused
with a night of dark wings and warts.
Arranging paper for what we are now,
we move along the path
of irreducible stains
that loosen the teeth
of the way we want to be
so that slipstreams
of our most carefully woven connections
refuse to turn to the left,
as we instruct
virgins in perfect hospital corners
that lead them to impress their scent
on a man lurking around every corner,
separate from each other
though the errand is the same for them all, for us
with our loose fingers, our four chambered
heart that thumps with a jazzed beat or a
Marley clash of notes rising
out of the Jamaican night with the smoke
and the sweet smell of music untrammeled
by the scrim of correct thinking and how the dogs
wag by the shore and pass their thick tongues
over the window sill where the pie cooled yesterday
and the yellow bird sings
Aida in the hot buggy night
that is submerged
in a fat smell of gardenias.
a cairn of stones
blue flies cracking through sunlight
raven with its jagged call
and rivers green as avocado
no one asked us
rub an egg against my skin
to absorb my restlessness
heavy copper coins
blackbirds that visit in my dreams
three souls, we have, that linger
for a few days working on transition
the great cordilleras pound south
harboring ghosts that whisper
I eat flint corn, brush my hair
with fir needles
a stone falls into the cool water
and a flower blooms up and fades
sparrows splash in a puddle,
stamping their fragile tines
a white casing flutters
like a concertina dried now,
and thinned by wind, each loop
rattles with infinitesimal whelks
and like a lithe moccasin
the river showing its white
throat over and over
winds down the Sierra descent
ever flicking its forked tongue
for a taste of the sea