West's Elephant Died
The book is almost finished. It's tough reading
about glands. Morgan sees herself marrying
a man or keeping her cuckoo clock. She's been hearing
time since Berkeley. Since almost everyone waited
for the beginning of the semester, and since a professor
replaced her with a sports car. Not just any sports car,
but a blinding red and singing sports car like a Mel
Brooks movie. Yet like I said, its tough reading long,
dendritic pages about Elephants and Hyraxes, Morgan
engaged between two lines and the announcement of Heidi
Speaking of Borders
really can do that. You really can leave bodies
to the ants. It's no big deal: dead girls cut
in the desert, missing shoes thrown to roads
and policía in boots looking along the border.
Looking along. But nothing comes of it because
other people die under bridges. And buses still run
past shanties in the blowing, brown, choking
dust. And American tourists love the price
of drugs. Especially since prescription drugs cost
a bundle in Scottsdale, where the girls just cut
themselves shaving their knees.
Who would want another home like this? A home
with husky men wearing the same short sleeve jackets
and standard buttons. And a young woman screaming,
her eyes watching doctors approach as they talk
under fluorescent lights. Did I really hear them say
the horse is dead in number two lock up? Did I?
Everything is tricky: a man sticking his tongue out,
sticking his tongue in and another man waiting
for a flood, at sealed windows. I want to stand
near him, knowing the whole thing is probable
when two animals do as they are told. Yet,
would you believe there is a wall going farther
and farther into a garden to simply watch ants,
and believe ants beyond, carrying something other than
nothing, something without design-- better than ordinary
afternoons that are dull and rote and jaded and hard
and hard? And I found the place once where rain
hit my head. I felt everything, even promises
and hands beside blue candles. I had a birthday
ring and two sons. I had a mirror.
Who cares if you want a sombrero like Steve
Martin's? You didn't tell anyone our luggage is imported
leather, tagged with everything right, everything clear
and that something odd happened on the airplane.
Something odd: people around us ate or slept
as an Asian couple sitting next to us babbled
Mexican names (was she pregnant?) If nothing else,
they made enough noise to fill the whole front cabin.
And as I was saying, they kept repeating names, guttural
names, from a book, which made the whole flight tedious
until we arrived at Tokyo, before the airlines lost our luggage
and it hit me, that you really weren't very humorous.