I NEVER KNEW YOU

 

blue blue electric blue
blue as the sea that laps the shores of mykonos.
where I never knew you in hallowed halls,
where the white walls dissect but never meet –
we arrived! by the shore and the sea that spilled
sun-kissed wisdom, a thimble full.
or, a pinprick on the goat dancer’s thumb:
a single drop of blood to dye to moon.

I was drifting in the belly of a great white ship
conducting hours as tourists counted souvenirs
and pled for tinier arms.
where I never knew you from the top of hearst’s cliff,
in the cabin of shadows, where the caretakers dusted crumbs along the road.
we arrived, calling on the garden,
calling on the stroke and the honeyed resin of august,
for want of lifeline’s short heat,
the child asleep in permanent summer.

the index finger could only point toward the learned texts,
to live by touch without braille in tact.
the footnote dropped.
calling on the books I recommended, but never read.
and the dead and the dreaming, smooth their starched linen skirts.
where I never knew you, in the city of smog,
where roberto lives in vinyl and pulls the sound on wheels.
we arrived! we arrived
and the retriever followed bikers after tea
to feed the beast, the creature’s taste, its native tongue
for a slice of ham from the butcher’s block.
(the coast was drawn, the shutters struck.)
and I never knew you
in the cemetary where I pretended to sleep.

at the end of the world, where recoleta’s cats
pawed and stepped through intentional feasts.
the useless maps were torn, the paper sheets that soaked and bled,
from black-eyed jewels, where the papaya split.

at the end of the world, where the men of sea escaped,
the twinkling imperfection of a triple cascade,
how the grace notes skimmed the ornamental door
and we arrived upon the heels of the tree
that stops
the clanking sound
in the chapter that persists.
first fists, the hand released,

the red dice rolled.

yet, I never knew you, a stone’s throw from antarctica,
standing on that sleepy shore, composing postcards after dusk.
rising in the quarters, where the bell hooks its single note:
forever arriving!
forever arriving,

where the wanderer is a traveler, not a tourist.

where the spirit is a dancer, not a sister to the evening mourners.

where the dreamer wakes at dawn, awake enough to dream again.

alive in the city, the lighthouse leans.
alive in the city, first fists, the hand released.
the red dice lands.

and in the end, the greatest gift was that I never knew you,
alive in the city, where the clocks have no hands.