The Poetry Of
Kenneth P. Gurney
She swam as fast as a dolphin
to touch the horizon line
then turned around and came back.
Her journey would have been quick
(and she would have been on time for tea)
but her hair turned into kelp and tangled her legs.
There were many boats to dodge.
She felt her wake might swamp the small ones
if she swam at full speed.
On her return, she rose like new hotels
lining the beach and haunted the chairs
of loungers sponging up all the sunshine.
She said she decided to reclaim Florida for the sea
and so flowed over the bars as a rogue wave
and did not recede to the outer banks.
Downtown Miami stands up to their knees in her
and try to financially negotiate the salt out of their pedicures
but, foolishly, leave the corrosive rust to their accountants.
Some man declared her Evil, but she ordered a latte
at a local Starbucks, because it was time to come in
and start to get to know her new neighbors.
Some woman declared her Divine, but she regurgitated
an oil slick onto the auto lot, like a bird that feeds
its nested young.
Delphi complains, No one
walks on water anymore,
nor feeds the multitude
with five loaves and two fishes.
She walks right past
all the young girls in the thrift shop
who search for maternity clothes,
who can not explain their condition.
For a moment, Delphi smells the divine,
the burnt recollections of long ago,
then realizes she shares a Tewa memory
with roasting green chilies at the farmers' market.
The marred land wails in pain, but only she
hears the new elegy the wind practicesó
the thirteen couplets that compliment
the breathless surface of the moon above.
Delphi feels the hunger
of every woman seeking the goddess,
of each man who strives to be a god,
of the old gods cast aside by modernity.
She hears those things waiting to be said,
observes the little nothings that camouflage
the words from the mind's conscious eye
and the distractive behavior that explains everything.
Delphi touches the fervor, the crawl of ghost ants
in the emptied womb, the place crazy resides
in the heart of every mind, the river bottom as her feet
break the surface every time she attempts to cross.
The summer's smile wanes
and the sky's blues cool.
All the books from Labor Day sales
are harvested and set in the loft
for wintertime, fireside consumption
and cerebral adventure.
I await your October arrival
from that far away place, where
you claim the monarch butterflies
grow as thick on trees as leaves.
You will come, just as the finches
wing toward the mexican border.
And we will swap brag like spit,
while boney fingers trace
the new scars that decorate
our drummed hides.
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