Saturday, October 28, 2017

Falling Off a Horse in a Pasture Overlooking Kailua Bay

Palomino Sitar canters down the slope,
rises at the sawhorses. Becky on his back
confident, secure, looks like she’s flying. I want to cheer.
Gentle Gunsmoke’s velvet lips
pluck a ripe mango from my palm, leave a smear
of slobber. I wipe it on my gray cords,
smell crushed fruit, horse sweat.

Well, I wish that I had Jesse’s girl…

We’re high on the shoulder of Hualalai. I don’t know
the road’s name, just the ride, the open back
of Lisa’s pickup: Becky, Cherie, Kendra, Joelle,
hair streaming in the warm breeze (mine’s braided tight).

Crimson and clover, over and over…

I grew up with this sky of tropic blue, with jacarandas’ violet haze over hills of rainforest green. But that was half a world away and the people were different. I was different. Here in Hawai’i I look like everyone else. I’m used to being an alien. I’m not used to being treated like a normal person by girls with horses and radios that play

Got a fever of a hundred and three…

McDonald’s in Kona smells like McDonald’s everywhere:
hot grease. Becky plays with the ketchup tube,
swats it with her palm, shoots ketchup
on my blue chambray shirt, already
smudged with dirt and horse dung from the fall.
Sitar tried to jump with me on board—
I wasn’t ready to fly, Sitar,
hit the ground hard enough to feel queasy
until I caught my breath.

Don’t stop believing…

I’m seventeen getting ready for college. In five years I want to be Rachel Carson.
I don’t ever want to be a crook, like President Nixon or Mayor Rizzo.
I’m not used to not being a freak.
Give me a minute. I’ll catch my breath.
I’ll get up and fly.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

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