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Let’s Collaborate

I was thinking maybe you’d write one for me
and give it to me and I could say it’s mine
and never tell anyone, but always
give you credit in my mind, which, if you look at it
the right way, counts most anyway.
How about it? A guy can always hope
until his fingers can’t uncross, for something
the opposite of The Old Man and the Sea
where the big one jumps in his boat
when he’s given up fishing – but he’s hungry
but he lacks real bait. When you’re my age you realize
that kind of hope is where presidents come from.
Over mud, they walk the plank toward God
who got up again recently, and I rose early to meet Him.
Check out this dream: I was Jesus, only I was
just that long-haired kid who lives down the street
and is always smoking cigarettes beside my porch
and it was another me who woke Him up
who bailed Him out, because His alarm had been going off
for hours. I was pretty nice. I said, “Hey Dude, get up
it’s Easter again.” The daffodils survived the freeze.
The Mexican kids were in the alley crushing pink eggs
with a soccer ball and a bike. They were crazy
with palm fronds. I was kind of still asleep, and you know
talking like my people who come from the country.
I said my favorite place is a road in Virginia
at a certain speed so that when I scream
over the rise at Chancellorsville I don’t lose it
on the battlefields. All I see are placards and shrubs.
And if I make it, I start to sing whatever’s on the radio.
And when the road bends like the general’s arm
and shoots me straight through the valley’s heart
there’s a kid humming “Loving Nancy” in the ditch
and the stuff on my face is as much blood
as it is dust. Then, suddenly, it’s the warm
glowing night I thought we could all ride into together
one day. The sky’s vacant like an air-brush painting
like a Super-Sargasso Sea, where what’s lost
has the responsibility to pop back up again.
Given the apartment theory of dimensions
we could say, “Fuck it,” or we could gather the proof
necessary to believe in everything no one can see.

Posted 04/13/09
This is the title piece for my upcoming chapbook, due out from Magic Helicopter Press at the end of April. It was originally published in INVISIBLE EAR 3.
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