THEY WENT THEIR SEPARATE WAYS
I began to wave goodbye and my hand
hovered in the air, floated
like a rubber glove or bird carved from soap.
I could not turn my head,
I could not take my eyes
from my hand, gossamer threads
ran from optic nerve to fingernail,
from lobus occipitalis to distal phalanx.
By the time I could turn my eyes away
from the center of my palm,
the departing ships had merged into a single ship,
and this ship had become one of those brilliant points
that flutter and taunt and blur and humiliate
REASONS FOR STAYING PUT, PART I
Once I saw a dog asleep
On the shoulder of a highway
That filled an old arroyo
And linked the desert with the sea.
He woke and sat and scratched himself
Then noticed me, beside my car:
Homeless, gasless, six days starved,
And not opposed to eating dog.
I held a wrench behind my back.
We stared, then the dog turned away,
Distracted by the spirit world.
All at once, he dashed up the dunes.
He ran because he heard a truck coming.
The driver stopped and took most of me away.
These two poems are part of a much longer
sequence, a kind of Southern Gothic Science Fiction novel-in-verse inversion
of Robinson Crusoe. No kidding.