The rhythm and flow
of Cleveland Road
popped as plain and true
as the pluck and snap
of blue chancletas
crossing terracotta
Florida rooms
in quick fashion
like a salsa step
about to begin
a beat all its own.

You soon explored
other streets, shucking
home behind you, beat
by syncopated beat;
and when you combed
the clean hard-road spaces
between sweltering mirages,

and you sought under,
over short bridges
to scour the parks
and lots and beaches,
the b-ball courts and alleyways
and in the mangrove clutter
bordering the canals,

you hunted a clue,
begged connections;

you peeled the façade of riches
and tempestuous debauchery
and shouted and complained
and cried and implored the All
in search of what it means,
in search of why it is,
in search of the Author’s ideal
you were lost, lost,

lost in the tides
of the Atlantic that carried
you here

and lost in the slow death
of Ponce de Leon’s Chequescha,
Biscayne Bay’s ghostly currents

plying bedraggled homeward
a broken and waterlogged
grand piano –

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brown and rotten gray,
bubbling in the sea foam,
cracking the sea wall,
threatening a finale.

From the fissures come swarming
army ants, lizards, and palmetto bugs,
unhinged by the ancient call of snapping crabs
lounging on the dead coral and splintered ivory.

All of them becoming,
becoming – strummed
by the sparkling node
of morning’s mystical
breach in the curtain –

kumquats, naval oranges, watermelons.




Slightly altered image from Flickr.