Published: March 13, 2006
I lived amongst the long, oppressive palm trees on an island
Sometimes I climbed the sandy banks
And watched the twinkling lights of skyscrapers send me friendly thoughts
But never would I descend for fear of savages.
I walked amongst the people--
Just one hundred--
Living in the same place as me
And we pressed our glassy fingers up to invisible walls
Miming lost escapism in a rusted metal sea.
One day I fell in love with a dog.
I knew it was wrong but I stared into the depths of droning darkness
And saw my future.
His clumsy loyalty endeared me
And when we walked on the edge of shallow waters
I sometimes thought those buildings might house gods, or devils--
Or other mystical things.
It was just a thought.
We had hybrid children; they were ridiculed and cast away
I would watch them play on the banks,
So distorted and surreal,
And wonder really if they were the work of Satan.
When they came to me, crying useless, malformed shadows of words
I would turn away and answer
In that same language they had taught me,
They had made me learn,
In all their hideous veracity.
You can tell me you have seen the very scorning eyes of darkness
But when I sit around the palm trees, they speak to me
In words I wish I’d never heard.
The icy, clawing shore is drawing nearer
Ravaged in its determination to tear me from the obscure life I know
And to leave a replica of me,
Dissolving soundlessly into the sand.
I’ve heard its strangling notes
And know its rhyme off by heart, where it lives and dies
Daily with the tide.
One day, the waiting waves will crush me
Drag me silently, half-willingly, toward the urban coast
Away from all I loved and its macabre outcomes.
And I will climb anew on concrete
Breaking through transparent barriers and shaking stained-glass knowledge from my fingers
Live seventeen storeys high where I can be the gods I prayed to.
And I will deliver mercy to all I created.