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Dale Boyer


Even on his last trip through the islands,
lost, withdrawn, it was the same:
each time his prow split sand, Columbus raced up
like some poor, dim duck, imprinting
on the startled group of Arawaks assembled
by the glass green waters of the sea,
demanding of the men excitedly,
"Where is the Khan?"


I was like a person
waiting for an elevator to arrive:
the button pushed, the rise and fall
of currents in the shaft, the strangers
gathering, directional, near me, and still
the doors not opening.

That year, I found a haunt
inside the strange cleft of a bridge
beneath an overpass a spot
where drivers slowed on seeing me,
glanced anxiously around,
then waved me in.

In Africa that same year, drought
was killing everything. So desperate
were the villagers that when, at last,
supplies arrived for crops,
the people ate the seeds.


Think about it: living on the fringes
of society,

the cry that echoes
tree to tree, impinging on

the native ear, exhorting
nature in its unfamiliar ways -- a cry

that makes the whole world shrink in fear.
Who is this man -- Tarzan,

Fauve homme sans tendresse,
part of Africa, yet not a part. Nobody want to think about

his urges, whats inside his heart,
its surges. Mark the way he spends his days

(he swings from emptiness to emptiness) --
just him alone (Jane was a phase).

Remind yourself hes swift and strong. Say it again:
hes fearless.

Copyright 1999 by Dale Boyer

Contributor's Note