Issue 219, Winter 2016
When even getting a haircut seems too much,
And trimming your toenails and fingernails takes too much strength,
When more than you have is what’s required,
At least that’s what you think,
And even the thought of reading a book makes you tired,
Then it’s time to get on your motorcycle and ride far out to sea
And run out of money and blink SOS and sink.
I was once in love myself.
I loved politics in those days as well.
Now I stare up at the sun.
I stretch out on the sidewalk under the moon
And greet each day as an adversary.
I thought I knew everything, then I met you.
It’s rather like how a bald man once was hairy.
Everyone should be an optimist, of course.
Have the experience of marriage so you can have the experience of a divorce.
Sing, or rather scream, until you’re hoarse.
Actually, you’re acting like a baby.
You don’t mean anything you’re saying
When you’re the middle of a volcano
And your lava starts to flow.
Actually, I’m screaming like a baby for a breast or the bottle,
Maybe a bottle of red, either Italian or French.
I’ll get a haircut.
I’ll cut my toenails. What’s come over me?
I’m ready to fall in love with life.
I’m ready to drink her pee.
I’ll take a shower after.
I’m ready to travel the world
Except I’ve already been.
Cape Coast Castle in Ghana
Is literally whitewashed white.
The building moans like a ghost under the enormous African sun.
The dungeon holding pen for slaves is a sacred place.
At the so-called Door of No Return, tourist African Americans pose.
Every single African head of state is corrupt.
Yesterday I was francophone and snowing, today I’m July.
I hear the whine of the mosquitoes.
They land on their oil rig of legs and drill down.
They’re sort of our nurses
In the form of a proboscis of six hollow needles drawing blood.
I fell in love once and then it was over.
I found a long dark hair of hers long after.
I believe in the power of love to enslave.
Oxygen enters a vacuum of not and explodes.
Our slave ships unload us on the dock,
Prodrome of everything to come.
Too much is often enough. Too much is almost enough.