like a mad moment
like a stone spirit locked in a quartz crystal
Where is the god of the dead,
the wide mouthed turtle that shivers and stabs?
I lost a brother never birthed,
small as a piece of exploding balloon.
Nearby, a science class of liver eaters,
white water bouncing from rock to rock,
and I who resist sleep as I resist sex, never dream,
yet I am the one who discovered the Continent of Columbus,
the mad cities of Amerigo Vespucci,
the bone fragmented totems of Magellan,
but not the syphilis of Captain Cook and his tribe of salt eaters,
their great sails gods with wings.
The women of the island swan out to them laughing,
their lack of inhibition a perfume.
Nor did I discover the golden esophagus’s of the Conquistadors
so thirsty for gold, once when they were captured,
they were forced to drink it. Who among us
searches for the Monograph of Truth in the jungle,
in the night? Who among us knows the mad woman
torn apart by one she knew all her life?
I lost a sister five months before her birth date,
so tiny she was a new born possum,
large as the hand of an infant newly released.
That was the family I never knew.
Somewhere a great snapping turtle holds up the galaxy,
Somewhere another eats every tadpole in its home,
every frog, every mudpuppy, every bubble-eye celestial goldfish
until all that is left of the planet it lives on is to find another home.