Monday, October 10, 2016

Five days in Seattle

Seattle is a West Coast City, the Emerald city, city of rain and fog, city of siren and song, city of land and water. Please bring a jacket, a camera, snacks and an umbrella. 

    *Day one*
He peers into my photograph 
with an eye loupe
 round black with a magnifier
looks up and down, scans my face,

he looks for a thing I cannot pinpoint
but I know my face is full: acne, moles
a nose I disapprove of, falsely placed teeth
a head split open and sewed back together, once

I smile, when he peers into a collection of papers
this time for dates that define me
birth, landmark, hometown,
things I overlook generally because they are just mine

half-dazed I pull my roller-bag
with each step forward the back of his head
turns smaller and smaller
to loop, is to round un loup, 

with a dropped (e), is French for wolf
a prey, a prayer, palpable those old tales

I glance back one more time
 this time I smile, it is for my own self

*Day two* 

I don't know about space wars
I can barely keep up with the ones
ravaging earth with images left
in memory and in numbers

but I do know that fur space balls
can be malicious and that seven hundred guitars
can play one tune if you really
give each one a chance at stringing to their own melody

and I know that songs stop being about those
who write them and start becoming an anthem
to love, to a cast-away friend, to trial
mostly to error

and I do know that a friend is willing
to let you lean on his shoulder long enough until
you can walk alone
with your shoulders straightened out

I know there are questions between books in a shop
gulping of earl-grey and closing of eyes
questions that drag questions
about words, about the direction of wired tramways and buses

that are purple on the outside and gleaming silver on the inside
there was a new old friend with conversations about blessing
how finding a person can be a gift, like language
like humor, like a wave that breaks on the bay of the ocean

a few minutes before sundown

*Day three* 

The wind blows long and icy over the Puget Sound 
on the deck the click of my boots compete with  seagulls,
with hope in finding an old whale-fin 
that has lost its way and by chance ended up near the ferry-boats

there's a sensation unmatched for water, when for a minute
you turn to the foam that fills its surface
an instant of nothing, transfixed: 
no land in sigh, no need for moving 

yet float forward, because that's the only direction 
no whale song, no joy in looking at half-lapped
sleeping waves, not awake nor pleasuring 
for travelers who are too fond of land 

skyscrapers behind, I am tossed between wave 
and sky. This is the magic of water: it reflects 
a sky so blue is only as vast 
as the water that's right bellow 

soon, there will be land
a leaf that's fallen and crested red with envy 
brown with old age, this rage
to reserve is an act of preservation 

a live keeping of tree among goose
among deer that flee by sight of other humans 
this is emerald then,
balance in color

no one waits for  you when your steps are smaller 
to walk in the woods, you have to stop searching for foxes 

it rains when I am on deck again 
I tap my chest three times like confessing a bagful of sins I haven't made
nor thought of making yet
then I damn the minute other waters went inside of me 

never evaporating 

*Day Four* 

this little Rachel piggy went to the market, 
that little piggy decided to stay home by the ocean, 
this little piggy thought that oysters are better than Chinese
that little piggy had nothing to eat 

this little piggy went...
Oh! I miss home. 

*Day Five* 

How do we count our steps back,
do we stop moving altogether?
my feet find way in the midst of other runners
 motion breeds motion and the ocean breeds

smaller intersections of water
where the running ends there's an alley of grit
surrounded by long wooden logs
where the sea-lions and seal stretch for sun and sleep

where the children throw rocks of marble
atop the water, where the sirens will secretly
use desolate land to comb their hair and practice
shorter songs to the art of seduction

where I kneel and touch the breaking wave
too cold this surface that's been broken, spoken
sung so low, so slow like a woman who is waiting
for a long labor to begin

it has been five days, sleeping and waking to the wave
looking out for whale, looking around for information
for a fang, a fish, a siren
an explanation, a calmness, a vigor
a Beattles song, a hot cup of coffee, an old friend
an explanation, a calmness, a vigor

I bent over to touch the first wave, cold again
for five days
I wait by the ocean side for something,
it gives me nothing back.

Photograph mine, taken with a Canon Sx610

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