Back in the slanting, tilted days
we tore great chunks off each other
and then crept slowly apart, not looking back,
like sidling crabs over cooling sands
and wrote with bloody fingers on the walls
words that still drip down to acid puddles;
I wished I could cry in my sleep
and wait for the dreams to come.
But I’m none of those thousand phantoms;
not a prisoner in love with his jailer
nor a blind man married to an angel;
just a broken rung on the ladder,
a handful of scattered shells and driftwood
when the teasing tide recedes,
like I’m stuck by a hotel pool
two steps from the bar and just a drink from Hell.
EIGHTH VIEW OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS
Easter Island, 1500 AD
The five stars tremble through the branches
of the last tree on this island. At dawn,
my loyal axe will cut it down to raise
the final moai of my ancestors
and the long-gone dead will smile.
But there will be no wood for platforms
to one day lift me huge and rocky
like the eyes that talk to the sky,
my cold stone back to the living sea,
my painted eyes scorching the bare earth.
I tremble, too, but the ancestors call my axe.