Because into every life some sudden lover
must slough, like sand through a wet bathing suit,
let the burns and abrasions blare reckless witness
When he stops to the horny scurrying of ghost crabs when he
steps outside to smoke. So right,
rifle through his bag to find prayer cards
folded accordion style and a couples’ therapy
reminder on which he’d written: the stars are bullet points.
Admit this sentence has a crude clarity you often
miss in poems. And if you must, marvel at the way
he explains the origin of the word chilango,
which has something to do with the blush
of a gutted fish or the absurdity of wearing flip-flops
in deep sand. Not entirely artless, not entirely
un-worth while you are growing ephemeral and alone,
an interlude. But you were trying to exist in the moment
for once, so back to his eyes, which remind you
of a selva tree shedding its raunchy sheets in spring wind
and a friend from Alabama who once told you of the sheer
fabulousity of fucking on a fresh bale of cotton.
Everything ends. Sex. Poem. Harvest. Everything ends
as the airplane lands in an ice storm, as across the aisle
two Italians bask in the glow of sexual tourism, bouncing
twin cartons of cigarettes under their arms. Everything ends,
as in the distance between Baltimore and Cancun—
which is a three-hour flight, but really? Remember
that first scorch of sunlight because you were not
sleeping. Remember at dusk, the sand flies, the last
tragic batch of groping because you are going to
file it off like an Emery board until all that’s left
is a smutty dust the wind makes off with.
You who live by the thumb, wreck it all with one thrust—
forget the scant light two bodies make beneath
mosquito netting. Remember the gritty suitcase.
Skeletons suspended over the sad bed, the sad bed
wired with firecrackers—
violent agreement of explosion and encore.