The city went everywhere I did.
It was not about to end on my account.
There were mountains sure
but far in the distance
and painted I expect.
It’s enough to make a man
throw up his flag in horror,
while swearing fidelity to another race.
No, make that sweating fidelity.
I saw the new century arrive
while marking pages in a book,
amused, amazed., by my own handwriting.
Fireworks, raucous sulfur,
a float reached six thousand feet –
nothing was invisible
but everything needed fire
to not be dark —
a man danced right by me
in his dead father’s only suit
down the streets of the village
and a woman in a tutti-frutti hat
reddened my brow with lipstick.
Something deeper was required
but everybody was too consumed by carnival
to leave the surface.
I was peppered with flame and homesickness.
Not knowing the local dialect,
no one had ears for me.
Even at a parade’s sincerest moments,
the truths could not take over.
Just sensual and loud,
the easy road to destination.