Stop me if you think
You know the one about
the shipwreck, the translucent slip ;
A bird walks into an oil-slick soup,
shakes himself off,
The environment continues, etc.
I heard that one
could bust ribs
giving them away. You know what you get
when you cross a good guy, a bad guy
and an in-between guy?
you get an audience,
the captivity filling their lungs, don’t you
get so bad it’s good.
Never mind. Bad joke. Slap
your thighs. A doctor, a Sandman,
and several other authority figures
say it’s good weather,
walk onto a boat.
Their steps jangle but they can’t make it work.
Women fall asleep on their own islands
anyway. The brunette laughs all the way
to the shoal.
The redhead strips down,
wades right into the literal water.
The blonde sits in the silt slipping steal
beads onto a line, watches
her sisters drowning.
It’s a religion, the way she will walk out of the bar,
rum-drunk, telling her stories:
how all she does is name things
that are already dying;
how quietly the whooping crane
gets to its punchline;
how she got those funny bruises
just for listening.