By Mike Walker
glitter in the air, by the flight, by the night . . . .
this airplane travels in the dark, blinking its red and whites.
like Chicago in the summertime, like Water Tower Place,
it's all little reflections of those pulsating lamps.
with haste, with urgency, with everything else because of
a desire: I want to be there now, I want an experience complete.
I look out into the black air and imagine which islands might
be under our metal wings at this moment in passage.
even when I fly over solid land I must imagine an ocean;
without real water I'll make up my own fanciful seas.
I want for salty water and research its mysteries, I am
considering its romance within the laboratory of my mind.
you see, anything catches my eye if it's one of a kind:
anything that seems complex I want to be mine.
like the seas, open and endless, home to billions of
fishes, crustaceans, kelp, and man-made relics.
then when the plane must touch the ground I
rise from my almost-sleep and reform my dreaming wish:
I want for the kind of body found standing on a beach
near the water at two in the morning; this one,
he gazes over the waves and appreciates their sound,
he will scan the sky and find my plane on approach to MIA.
transforming those glittering little lamps into the swish of
a shiny garment in a crowded, dark, extravagant place.
let them lead his youthful face to search for another
person so tainted and captivated, so full of forever for me.
will to him right now all those powers that can
toss radiance and shimmer into a night designed for desire.
let him trace the flow of the waves and want them to
be contained and represented in a more human way.
let him come through the sand and seaside brush to
stand where I can find him and begin this climb,
fixing our mental images in a perfectly non-sensible way;
we could be working on it, trying to achieve greatness
through the easy movement just like that of the sea.
I would be content to lay there between him and the water,
allowing him to visualize in me anything he wants out of
an awesome and whole worldly geography.
I plunge in as I always have,
without words enough to do.
like Brian on his skateboard,
I hope to be replete and unguarded, never noticeable
for my knowledge but instead for my lack thereof.
I want to be experienced in a way that will leave
etched into my listener deep marks of everything I am.
the stuff we are made of, it is a shock-wave, it can be truncated
like sounds can be spliced and looped in endless electronic
wonderment through miraculous computerized orchestration
shifting octaves and leaving little artifacts that wail, that scream,
that always run in clamoring, that land on their own two feet.
I am more artillery brigade than mender as I say that I reform
yet when you look at it carefully, I blast, burst, and carve.
my words, behold them to yourself; listen, please, listen.
like Brian, I said, like Brian; as I loved him as my friend
and stood in awe of his defiant, piercing, personality.
like Brian, I said, as I loved him as more than a friend,
I allowed him to become part of me forever, like these
words that will --as Cynthia told me-- simply never do.
nor will photographs, or molecular models, or maps,
or nautical charts, or seismic readings, or anything else.
while we stand with plenty left to explore in the natural world,
and here I am --but still a kid-- saying "look at me, love me!"
what do I have, what more than anyone else?
what might I have today, like sugar? what might you covet?
maybe I proffer more than I can sell or maybe, like Brian,
it's a done deal and the ring has left the jeweler's case already.
but try, please do, though I am too proud to ask, I have to:
try to take me in and live in my life learning my language
so then enthralled you will grow in yourself and I will become
what I say I am already.