Talking to myself again,
the spirit moves me to tongues, jibberish,
shot from the hip, to some point, encircling,
a knee jerk, a spasm, catatonia,
asleep atop a tightwire. Tympani?

Are those really steel drums playing?
Or just the hum of song machines,
there behind the walls? The underground trains
speed, fluorescent murals, painted blacklight
tunnels that rocket to bright midday sparks.

Hot; starched curtains, white; edged lemon cotton.
Key lime pie and peaked, sweet meringue rosettes.
Life is easy in the sun; blood orange
juices run the length of your inner arm.
The parrot also blabbers,

straight from the beak, so to speak, turns a phrase
clean as a whistle or a pirate song.
I wash your arms in clear cold water.
Stickiness dissolves, your limbs are refreshed,
renewed, invigorated, christened.

These streets are ancient; the clay is primal.
The sunlight is primordial. The stars
are the reason for the day, for being.
Raison d’etre. The way it’s to be.
“Marcello!” In the fountains, once again.

Your place has large sculpted window boxes,
arcs, smooth plaster, your own personal asps;
so much fun to kiss in rooms well tended,
in classic southerly light, long lean rays,
from ceiling to floor, in lofts in Paris,

light caught in seams of wood planks, sock-varnished,
colors ride steamed mist, swarms of bees take hold,
so much space between me and the thing seen,
which is you, grace and splendor, at its peak,
where the oxygen is too thin, miles high.

You can gasp all you want, you still can’t breathe.
When you mistake up for down, more than once,
is it time to buy champagne by cases?
Accelerate the deterioration.
Kill brain cells in droves, fly ’em to the moon.

There’s a wind that blows when you’re not around,
scented of nectar suckles and honey,
combs of thick syrups, agave, sugars,
lustrous caramels, burnt deep sienna,
It rains and lifts the mocha,  brew of loam,

rich in mineral, organic matter.
You’d be proud to be associated.
Everyone agrees, nothing but wonder.
Smells that evoke another time and place.
Melodious aromas shadowbox.

Mardi Gras and everyone is elsewhere,
despite being right here, smack dab in it.
I am so sorry to have to do this.
i capture the light, a strand from my lips,
small fibers connecting there to her own.

Not yours. There’s something wrong; I feel feint, spent.
It’s another earth, I’m so sure of it.
It’s that other me, I’ve kept under wraps,
a subtext, a prelude to sanity,
an idiot in the making. Save me.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013