BETWEEN THE SEA AND THE SWEAT
In another summer with another sweating night,
my Georgia steams and I steam along also from
too much coffee and too many Camels, and my life tries
to rise, tries to hover above the wilting mimosa.
And I daydream away into August fogs on Manchester Beach,
feel my shoes start to sink in the stones and ice plants
of the Mendocino coast, and it’s so seductive now,
like a curved finger calling me over,
over to vistas of two story waves and whale spout fountains,
scenes of a sparkling sea of St. John’s fire racing
on the limbs of midnight tossed runaway redwoods,
these great ancients dare another rampage,
another cut of the saw, another rogue current…
And I start to feel the memories rocking, rocking,
rising with white flash of moon on the ridge,
on tide heavy winds that smell of evolution and urchin.
The far Pacific in my opium years of mist and storm
is always captured in these dreams, in these green house days.
Shaking my head, salt crusts on my lips,
and I walk out into the bamboo woods behind my broken,
depression era home, smell the Broad River,
cherokee rose and honeysuckle, slap a mosquito,
a gnat and a sweat bee, watch the slow crawl
of grass thick humidity slide up the spine
of thirsting pecan and cracked bull pine.
And I walk with the woman of black halters
and ginger scented skin, and she touches my arm
and asks where I am…and I don’t know how to say
I am between the sea and the sweat,
so I tell her I am here dreaming this and that,
this and that more now than ever before in my life.