ON SKINNY DIPPING ALONE
tonight you might as well be a bedpan.
Watching you used to be
like watching the door to a time machine hissing open.
Now I look into you and see
a man who could fuck up a microwaved burrito.
You spam the air with information
even archive dot org wishes it could forget.
OCEAN: you will never ever understand what this life really is.
ME: It is what I make of it.
The last time I swam in you
I felt like a roofie in a gin fizz.
Looking way down into your lacquer
was like gazing up from a ferris wheel car
at the high point of its arc.
Back on shore
a dead seal exposed its teeth
like the moon was a camera flash
and it was saying cheese.
A dead leaf clings
to a white branch
framed in the window.
It moves like the
earth’s constant wail,
silent until an empty
hand cups an ear.
What is there
to fight for
on the checkered
board where we
all know the last
are not waiting
to be placed.
The wind shifts
and tips the king.
It totters like any
old piece of wood.
Like a twig, so weak
it is dying to snap.
The joke is only funny
when you don’t get it.
Today began like any day at the office—
an applause sign gone haywire
flashing before the punchline.
The second hand scraped the grime
the chimney sweep must have missed.
Hashtags filled our cups, their voices
rising like curses from wells.
Medusa was demoted to worms.
She slithered to the water cooler.
Put a drop in each little mouth.
Gave them names
like Jane from accounting did with the pencils
after the miscarriage.
Jerry wore his tie at half-mast
for the sprinklers leaking tears.
The hour hand crept and crept
like it had a throat to slit.
The police helicopter flew
as if guiding someone home
(a lost child or a couple new to the city)
its searchlight waving
long brush strokes over the east side.