four o clock mechanical bird

“Oh,” she says as she looks at me naked
and at the ocean in the center of my palm.
A simulacrum of some archetype. “Don’t mind
that,” I say and finally she doesn’t and she flows
to the ground like a waterfall, a final release
of longing and of the exhaustion of holding back;

the wet soil of her eyes making me think of the coins
I left on the window ledge of the shower glistening
in the morning sun.

Figuring out this strange economy where my land
is coveted in so many dreams of speculators but undervalued by those standing
in line for their rations of love.

I am a quarter horse tied to a merry-go-round. Round and round we go. All horses
but not. Biting – biting at the ropes.

It’s a recession of imagination, hiding in the shadows of stones fallen
from a once cared for stone wall. Those walls that are not meant to keep
things out — but mark distance and definition by the care taken to
build and maintain. A responsibility to stone and wall and boundary;
the ability to respond to stone, to history that sings forward from the
path behind us.

So I wind up my four in the afternoon mechanical bird — send
it off to God as an offering — for more kindness and grace
and my gratitude for her sleeping silent in my bed.


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