What On A Walk, #131

Muscles moan in atrophy,
used to doing nothing
but carting this carcass
from kitchen to bathroom
to in front of the TV. Skin
degenerates and sloughs
off in great dusty chunks.
No amount of frozen,
boxed, pre-prepared snacks
cooked up in the microwave
in just three short minutes
can fill it. The body can’t wait
for temperatures to rise
and the tenants of spring
to move out from under
their underground lairs,
for grills to be setup
and winter tarps to be torn
from the tops of pools,
for the creatures beneath
the crumbled and washed
out underbrush to require
the comforting shade of jade
leaves, for the sun to rise
high enough to raise the ponds
up a calorie. Quickly man
with the keys, get out
from behind your TV
dinner, clear the ropes
from the beach so waves,
the great calming waves
of the ocean, can roll
over this body.

The boy lies in the grass,
lies in wait for the pools
to be filled and sifted through
and filtered, runs around
in cut off shorts and no top,
without underwear,
commando answering
to no one, amphibian
crawled up on land too long
and gasping for sweet wet
breath, carp and a chameleon,
whose colors have faded
to reveal the soft white insides
of the crab, navy seal, secret weapon
undercover agent without
a need or care for love
from the people his duty
commands him to protect,
the shorts worn only to keep
the quick-fused knuckles
of his mother off his lily-white
backside. He runs around
these lawns and woods
like a maniac brought
up beneath the rotting
wood slats of a barn,
what some would call
vermin or hyena
howling and laughing
at the silly and educated
slabs of soon to be supper,
held together by thin strips
of cloth, and strings.

The boy is an animal
soul, pointing and laughing,
his belly tense and rigid
from the wracked muscles,
stitch in his side from
poking fun at the adults
laid out unmoving on chairs
and on towels, bikini
straps undone, taking in
the sun to bake their skin
just enough to look good
beneath a dress or tuxedo.
He sneaks around by the pool,
peaks out from inside the forest,
rolls down the hillside and across
the single lane road, out
from behind the hedges, up
through the cracks in the concrete,
a water bug, a rat at their feet,
his decisions dependent
on instinct, on the sniff
of his fat rat nose, appearance
meaning nothing. Here is the sun
that gave him a reason to wake
this morning, that gave him
the soft shade of the jade leaf,
that handed him life,
and these waters
and even the people
he teases, sun, that one day
will take him back, return the boy
to the lair of peace, give
birth to him anew.

Men play golf or jarts, dressed
up in their high collared shirts
and gloved hands, cricket
or barbecue as a pretense
to be outside, when inside
it’s the boy they are pleasing,
the boy who is laughing
and who they blindly follow
and can not explain when
their loved ones ask why
they adore such a dumb game.
The boy finds excuses
to set fires, burn meat, plan
trips to the coast and to casinos,
to cart the children off in cars,
windows rolled up, vast treks
to see landmarks of a lost
childhood and to Disney World.
The duffer has neither
the heart nor the muscle,
not a thought in his head,
nor skin sucked dry by
too many room temperature
meetings and blank white
pages, too many days inside.
A sigh of relief or a chuckle
travels with these sports,
these days at the ballpark
or on the course, the instinctual
glare to spot a white pellet
floating off in the air, moon
rose on the horizon.



A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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