I think you can do a thing like that best
                                                                              from a detached position. – Nelson Algren

I catch a glimpse of you: your nightshades are galaxies that burn
The core brown light of an urban dawn. Receding with the sea,

The city streets replay their chord progressions with tenacity:
The story of a sea, of a city by the sea. Within my skin, beneath

My flesh, a hundred horses gallop fast as steam trains out of breath,
A thousand offspring drifting around in me. The darkest enemy

Of light, the city traffic moving past with gentle tendrils — anemone
With venom blue as the bluest sea, and flowing all over me. The sky

Has veins of marbled blue. My veins do too. I am a seahorse and I try
To cling to coral, caught in tiny monster currents. The fathoms bloom

With pain and flower nightmare petals. The breaching symbols loom
And yet the waves outlaw the moon reflected in a spoon, and you

Were there too, upside down as the moon was and needle-blue,
A marlin hooked and running deep. I lost my view of you, your little blacks

And blues absorbed by a hundred suns, the manic bloody tracks
My eyeballs knew. I was ready for a drink and ready to drink

The sea, the moon, the glimpse I caught of you. I could not think.
And you slip away but first you cast a glance my way, a mermaid

Parade of glances, virulent with smiles, and your smallest smile said
I was there and you were there for me but time was there to drink

The blood away. The Milky Way rides it out on the back of a skunk;
A violet in the alleyway is singing poison, opening its petals to burn

The scaly mane of a sea that washes over me like we were never born.


  1. Big Jon Bully says

    That was really beautiful, JOB.

  2. Quin Finnegan says

    Damn that’s good.

  3. Quin Finnegan says

    Especially “the Milky Way rides it out on the back of a skunk”!

  4. Big Jon, Quin,

    Thanks so much! (the Algren quote is the key, of course…)


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