Displacement

Adrunk
he becomes
the drinker
who drank him.

Take this cup
all of you
and drink
its whine the engine

of the cat
contemplating
her contempt for her
need for you.

Adrift
on a sea street
starry eyed
night
ears black holes
no sound
escapes.

And the nose tastes
hours of laundromat fuzz
falls a third time
near the blue dumpster
behind the fishmonger’s
by the cold chain links
in a bed of weeds gone to seed
spreading like a hatch
of artificial flies.

One he swallows
caught
hooked through the lip
jumps pulls and runs
down the path
to where the deep water
creeps awake
in the darkness
its thick jelled
mass motions.

From the Edge

From the edge he walked to the center and hit
return. He might have felt lost in the clearing,
returning again and again to the dark margin.

He thought
of making a home
in the clearing,
planting a meadow
of words.
But things changed
at night
in the clearing.
Balderdashes
ran to and fro.

He crossed to the other side, the distant
edge, the clearing now behind him.
He walked into that far margin,
and was never seen again.


Espressos and the Hippopotamuses

From the sidewalk table sipping our espressos,
the vinegary smell from the torch smoke crossing
from the workers re-tarring the post acute rehab
hospital entry awning roof across Belmont, we saw

the first hippopotamus drop to her belly, blocking
the intersection, car horns jeering futilely, the hippo
happily like a humongous semicolon, skin winking
wet, waiting for the independent clause to follow;

the mother comma still far down Belmont, the paint
of the hippopotamuses a bubbly brown espresso,
now tan now black red umber shadows folding and
rolling in banana slug butter fat, the hippopotamus

before us yawned and hollered something, now
in the harsh spotlight of a police helicopter, and
the buzz from these espressos we expected
to last for tens of millions of years, by which

time the hippopotamuses and the whales
would tenant together the salt water open air
reservoirs, a sprinkling of reactionary
helicopters rusting in thick dusty green aloof.