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.
of making a home
in the clearing,
planting a meadow
But things changed
in the clearing.
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.
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.