Thursday, April 10, 2014

Poem: Shift


Responding to a slow-acting psychogenic
beandip, Jin finds that he is
capable of just about anything.

He climbs a footpath that arcs the
canopies of witchlimbed oak and
comes to a hilltop, under a
spotlight of moon, surrounded by
coyotes in white tuxedos.

Jin snaps a finger at the alpha,
eliciting a yowl pitched at a
perfect high A (soprano clef).
He continues down the
pack until he has outlined an
A major seventh in double octaves.

They sing Swanee, Danny Boy,
Hava Nagila. They’re wrapping
up Mack the Knife when a
rabbit dashes past and he
loses them all.

Jin spots a milk-white horse in a
neighboring pasture. She claps
twice and the horse floats her
way, using a ten-foot length of
escalator that flies like a
magic carpet. A patch of
black fur on the horse’s flank
spells out the word ASK.

Okay, she says. I’m asking.

The horse smiles rather saucily and
stands on its hind legs.
Jin takes its hooves.
A band of skunks arrives with
percussion instruments and plays a
salsa beat. They dance for an
hour, until the horse sets her
into a spin that never stops.

She wakes on a beach, her
body covered in a blanket of
sand dollars, and rises to
find that she is very pregnant.
Jin has never believed the
old myths about interspecies
breeding, but as the first
labor pain strikes she is
forced to consider the possibility.

As the sun tips the mountains,
she gives birth to a baby
boy who begins to grow larger as
soon as he hits the sand.
In a matter of minutes,
they are standing face to face.

Jin kisses his mother self and
watches her walk into the ocean,
disappearing into a forest of kelp.

I will certainly miss her.

He wakes inside a bass drum.
A redhead kneels at the opening,
offering him a cup of coffee.

From the collection Fields of Satchmo 
Photo by MJV

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