I climbed another mountain and spat on a boulder
because climbing a mountain means nothing. To fish
from the middle of the stream, fresh catch flailing
breathlessly on the shore, gasping frivolous moonlight,
their widened eyes confused: that is my percussion
of temptation, the drum I’d rather follow through the rain
heedlessly, giggling, mooing, etc. I am a freight train
whistling through a blizzard, dragging boulders
between monotonous cities. I am the percussion
heard crossing a river by bridge. Below, fish
gather in the shallows, mouthing Woah in the moonlight.
A boy fishing in a rowboat is having a seizure, flailing
in the floor of the boat. I am the boy. I am flailing,
knocking my head against starboard. Of course the rain
is shattered glass reflected in the moonlight.
Of course you’re safe here waiting on the boulder.
My name is in the belly of a fish.
And yours? Swelling a balloon of percussion?
This is where the air comes from, exactly what percussion
flutters my rolled eyes, gives my flailing
its certain quiet rhythm. I was impersonating a fish
out of water. I was putting you on. Doesn’t the rain
sound wonderful against the water? Come down from the boulder
and listen from the river. Step into your dress of light
already. The train is long gone, leaving us the moonlight
to watch as I give in to your percussion.
Isn’t there room on the boulder
for both of us? Our reflections are flailing
in the ripples of the steady rain.
We are filled with the very fish
gathered in the shallows, holding fish
congress. It’s not what you think. The moonlight
is wavered. The boulder is cool. The glass rain
traverses the bordering pines, hissing percussion
toward shore, and drums on a bluegill displaced and flailing
in the sand. Your hair is draped across the boulder,
but I am not the boulder. The fish continues flailing,
streaked with moonlight, thudding percussion under the rain.
- The Rooster and the Little Red Wagon - August 21, 2017
- Sestina - June 12, 2017