The Tropics

Every summer I learn the constellations
              over again.         Like tonight
  I thought      hey I’ll camp out, let
                                     the white light of stars
    freckle my forehead.  And under the mesh
of my tent I think all sorts of things as I ogle
those way-out stars.  Where I’ve been lately,
and how I came to be here now.  This is
     the Dominican Republic, this New Amsterdam.  This
           night a dark little life
           I live all alone.      In a tiny little hut made for
Tiny Tim or a wonk or someone who’s eaten
         way too much chocolate and has no business
    with a notary license.
                                          Yes I do swear
   to tell the whole solomon truth    and
 bull-riding and fireflies and glowing juice
       and where we’re at in America these days.
And this guy with a shirt on says Real Environmentalists
     Don’t Eat Meat but I can’t quit meat.
                What is it that I’m good at, and
   what am I not good at.       What’s smoky, what’s fruity,
what do I like and what don’t I like.    What counts as a
         long session of anything and have I ever had one.  How long
have I walked compared to others and how much
   money have I made and when can I quit this big quiet disgrace
that I wipe from my face every day, trying to stay clean,
              thanking God, thanking Sirius and then Betelgeuse.   Seeing
    that I’ve got a short night and a long drive.  Unfortunately with these gas prices
              a drive.  But until then, the night, the music, the nasally laugh
  from a site over yonder.  And the crystalline light of requiems still
               burning like rain forests in the tropics.  Oh, who doesn’t
         want one more life?

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