Enough water over the falls. A spray against the skin.
Rowed his boat to the edge, close enough to look in.
You can see only the industrial buildings and cages.
Why did you consider moving to Babylon at your age?
If this has form, there must be something wrong.
Is it me or the fingers or my head fighting its sling . . .
The nation is a republic, the reactionaries insisted.
It’s not a democracy! No need to vote! I will lead!
As for me, I sleep with the TV on mute all night.
I take off my mask when I wake in the morning.
I set out after carrying the canoe across the land
between portage, the earth we call an island.
I reached her loft, a walkup of twenty-fivefloors,
cold water flat behind her. I knocked on her door.
She gives me her table and tells me I can write.
I sit until it comes and spills words that bite
the bastards in the ass that lies out of its mouth.
I do not know how such fools get this far south.
I wake in a drawl. Whose mask was I wearing
but one whose left hand bore a wedding ring
identical to the one worn by the lovely lass
who lifted her skirt and showed me her ass
was all mine as were her lips for my own to kiss
and so I fell into a deeply enchanted embrace
transmogrifying all phantoms of the deep wood
through which I rode to reach the known world.
I have a room full of masks. They sleep all the time.
I stir with my pen the ink in her well until words come.
(19 October 2010)