--IT’S ALL FRAGMENTS, LIKE HALF OF A PAPER NAPKIN
…I’m back, but a bit flustered and trying to catch up. Just read about twenty stories for my editing gig. Two were good.…The sun in Puerto Vallarta was very nice, always eager, ever generous. The scenery stole breath. People were quite kind and smiled a lot. I love Mexico.
I wanted a way to kill water.
The river ran like a gray scar, screaming in certain sections where it got caught up by boulders. Birds fluttered in the tree tops. A deer poked through a clearing on the other side and cocked its head at me.
It should have beautiful, but it took my breath away for all the wrong reasons.Ironic, I thought, that Ann had been a swimming sensation in college. Before we’d married, I loved watching her in the pool, so fluid and controlled, each stroke like glass. The last time I’d seen her she was surrounded by water, too. I thought she’d fallen asleep in the tub. The jets were on, the water churning what must have been gallons of her blood.
Our son never learned to swim. He came to this river with Jared, who turned out to be his lover. Jared said they liked to raft to the other side. It was safe, he assured me, so long as two people paddled. But then they’d gotten into a fight, my son angry because Jared wouldn’t come out publicly, wouldn’t let them be like any other couple.
When he dove in, Jared told my son to stop screwing around, to grab the oar, but the current had already caught him.
It would have happened right there, where I’m headed now.
The water bites my skin. Its liquid limbs tug hard.
I don’t resist at all. Instead I let rage do the work.
We drink fortified winefrom pails that once held beach sand.
It seems fitting.
You recall the time he wore that cape to school,the day he jumped from the roof hell bent on flying.
Our friends said everything happens for a reason.Neighbors claimed God has a way of caring for his mistakes.
I don’t know.He’s gone
while we remain.
The wine is thick and pungent,percolating in my gut,
speaking a foreign language.
The television is dead gray.
The air painted dead blue.
yet we remain.
There are people who eat their own young.Cars burn beside rutted streets.
Murder broadsides the innocent.
The cowboys are dressed up drunk
but some sharp hack has written a screenplay,
a new ending where we actually get out alive.
Just Before The Apocalypse
The dead dance to show tunes.Autopsies are taken.
Someone suggests Mother May I.
We get nostalgic just before the apocalypse.
Mermen show up in our soup,these bearded swimmers
with wry smiles
and signs that say
IMAGINATION IS DEAD
DON’T DRINK THE WATER
NIXON HAD ANSWERS.
We wash the dishes in silence,
our minds dripping with soap,
as clean as these utensils
that once brought us sustenance.