Had they, at that time, yet mined the rock salt from
the rich, wide ducts of your fugitive tears? In that far
afternoon, you sat curled around the rim of your ringed
fast food cup, dragging its lame hockey puck with its
tepid three inches of black ocean across the mournful,
textured tabletop—assembled with man-age mortar to
linger, disconsolate and amputated, five hundred years
past the white, mute February of the last human bone.
Where, then, to deposit the porous clay figures of our
talks? We spoke keen rondels, shaped to pry apart the
floor planks of passion and the pathology of degenerative
arthritic knee joints. In the vacant, beige tote that
is a dawn without thumbs, hunger gnaws, and similes,
out which French doors exit all the stories? And when
the unwinded flute of your face cannoned out the big
picture window, over the dishwater lake, sinking deep
into the yielding groin of a low wave, I am humming
(internally) the cremated melody of an old sea shanty
whose gold hoop has never pierced my left earlobe.
I have tied no sturdy knots in hemp rope. My father
was not he who swung the sloping Irish foothill of a hot
sledge at Ford axles like orange glowworms, capped in
a Dutch oven’s steel sinus until the egg timer cave-in of
his trestled arteries. I knew none of those spilled pink
sea monkeys who diffused their reshuffled molecules
into the smoldering blue of the Coral Sea. I only prune
the spear tips of your limpid eyes as butterfly pins. I am
a dag of cardboard—a box marked for uncoupled shoes.
Image courtesy of Getty.
N. Ian McCarthy lives in the southern United States, where he writes poetry and brief prose. His works have appeared on cocktail napkins and in bifold restaurant placemats since the early 2000s. He believes in the principle of essential human worth and in the incomparable value of stories and experiences; he hopes that by attempting to understand better, we attempt to be better. He’s been fascinated by outer space since boyhood, though he has an irrational fear of gas giants. He maintains a small blog at Mad Bongo Maze.