poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Drinking Song

I sing the cows
I sing the wetlands and the cows
I sing the wetlands and the cows and the dirt roads
all twisted and eccentric, endangered and idiosyncratic, yes
I sing and they answer me.

I can't play cards with you anymore/ you take the losses too hard.
Every big day is the same/ every day is enormous.
Lost count of the days/ I have seen/ solemn queens
and dancing madmen. I will vote them off my island.

We go back and back and back, pulling the blankets
up over our noses as foamy layers of roar
suck our toes, trying to take us out
to the ocean where the big storms are.

I drizzle and I steal pies
I try to write down the truth before the lies come on
slow-dancing lies, come on/ just, come on/ just come on...

You stumble around all afternoon drunk on sunlight
and bad directions (lies) until you find the driftwood path
just past the zigzag clubhouse/ dense flower bushes and no sign
where the path goes. Be careful when you smell
the flowers, they are bloody sea-rosed and singing boleros
to the sailors. Look, the birds don't fly here. Be careful
or you will get lost. Be careful also not to give anyone clear directions
here or you will have to share your doughnuts with them.
Oh the glazed, coconut-covered rings, just sun-warm now!

Maybe the strangers who stumble upon this place by accident
late in the afternoon will offer to share their wine with you
and you can dump your heavy tears out into the sea
(you've been holding them so close for so long)
and now the fish are all drunk on your sad sweetnesses
and now you soar/ with the fat, white gulls/ leading the charge
on the bloated dictator-crabs/ dive-bombing because
this is the cycle of things/ this is you/ caught in the act
of ocean-worship. You would sing if you could
but instead you make sweet-sea tea, doughnuts out of sand
and wine from tears fermenting in the sunlight.

You would sing if you could, but instead you lie/ sweet, saving, essential lies.

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