Livermore (I think), Summer 1995
I stood near the tree
its exposed roots enough toehold
A precarious perch for our rosy child
and me, on the bank to the river
While you cast your line
dreams of hooking plump salmon for dinner
in a stream starved for slender silver fish
You thought car rides were police chases,
and stunning, statuesque men in dresses
were women. You staunchly defended
mother first, child and wife last
Rice must be smooth, flat and oiled,
never sticky, and gold chains upon my son's
sweet-smelling wrist and neck were removed
when you were not looking. Twice a month
perfunctory tumble and always missionary
culminating fifteen to twenty minutes later
with a sandbox grunt
Christmas time we milled around, the obnoxious
tree, a six foot monstrosity squat and uneasy, in the middle
of a South San Francisco living room, while we made stilted
conversation, and tried to focus on blurred cream walls
Looking anywhere but where your mother sat
cradled reverently, like St. Nick's long-awaited
present on your lap. This was our clockwork
but only for two more years
Time is vigilant in its observation
duly noting a rewind, a screw loose, a need to tune.
Quinceñeara in the forefront
it was the theme of 1997's stifling heat
A trip to Los Angeles, a drunken rant and Sweet
Honesty powder dusting the air and the motel floor.
Disneyland both surreal and nostalgic.
Two months after, the humidity a wall to
the persuasion of autumn, you let us go
My rosy child and I
we swam in cooler pools
aimless and naive and relieved
Imaginary fish and imperious mother-lovers
in our wake
Eyes embrace, stirring evening past
lustful love of licentious romps,
watching the voluptuous rainbows
burst in rosy salmon sky of dawn.
Carnal danger never sleeps in
steamy, thirsty churning river
splashing salmon soulfully sprint,
striving for new fleshy life,
awaiting joys of crimson birth.
I stand on the brink of river bank
smoking and intercepting unchaste heat,
observing osprey chiseling the breeze.
plump dimpled salmon forge upstream
where hungry bears wait with salivation
fish leapfrog over curled bear claws
beast’s animalistic feast not ready yet.
muscular fishermen throw out their nets
striving to score copious bounty on table.
She and I gaze sensually at each other
across the rumpled bed covers of passion,
stroll naked together into the kitchen
gently stroke the sultry bagels in circles,
slice their bodies, adding a drop of sensuality
schmeered with buxom blobs of cream cheese
rosy breasts of smoked salmon layered in arousal,
onion and tomato slices glistening like our desires
feeding little bits into open, yearning moist mouths.
saga of salmon surrendering sensually to our needs.
He'd drown his words with feeling,
Rosy cheeks bursting with color and volume
Speaking with such eloquence that she couldn't help
But hear, but listen closer to the rainbow of sounds
That dripped from his mouth every time he spoke,
As if each word was a new treasure.
She took more time to speak, stuttering
Her words smoked and expired, like coals of a fire
That burned out long ago.
She watched longingly as his friends gathered around him, wondering
If she could ever be so amazing, so radiant.
Every time she tried to approach him, her feet were made of lead
And she dragged them along, each word a new burden
For each of them to bear. She didn't prepare a script,
But spoke the words that had gathered up in her throat
In all the previous months, and she choked them out
As he watched, appalled.
He thought so much of his words; they were all he had
And to him, she was less than human, a flat character
Who lived in the darkness, not to be thought much of.
Yet, one time, she seemed almost angelic
And he watched her, as she walked up to him, head held high
And spoke all the words he wish he could say,
Spoke words that sounded to him quite impossible, and made
The rainbows of his voice turned to gray clouds.
It'd make him wonder if he could ever have the courage
To speak the truth, without a care of who was listening.