Swan on the Carousel
I walked the whole distance from
the school for the deaf to the gull-filled
harbor where galleries and cafes
immersed me in luscious guilt.
Reverbed the shock of having looked
toward the gate of mid-morn brown
come gone returning dissipating
almost staining the remembering skin.
At the cracking light that morning
through the shreds of sleep I leapt
after breakfast of cat and mouse
into the toothy mouth of the city.
Where moving water is piped in
recycled in bouldered fountains
as if nature were natural here
under the smell of worn tires.
We live here only residentially
it is not our place but the realm
of armies of office workers, timely
mobs in streets, no one at the helm.
The day’s duty was to erase
all the impressions and effects of last
night’s debauchery without mindfulness
resistant to getting the job done.
Here is the circle that keeps us
in the circle, it’s what the colonel said,
memory is a gimmick, a private
slippery slide to where you started.
Humans have these genes that maintain
what is maintained also by the brain
following habits laid down in the womb
rewarded daily by daily dopamine.
I should not say but last night
I so enjoyed being violated
the best of me pulled out of the pocket
and spent on forgetting my principles.
Ergo the morning must and will
be spent scrubbing morals and mopping
floors, sidewalks and stairwells
while my ego looks the other way.
When these thoughts creep as they do
back to the light like cockroaches caught
when the switch is turned on at midnight
we must close our eyes and march ahead.
So from neighborhood to neighborhood
I sniff the flowers on the fences
belonging to everyone else in town
and looking into windows of stores.
Until I get to the generous park
and walk to the bandstand and the carousel
others are there but I ignore them
and climb on the eggshell-colored swan.
Whose music I know not nor
what the music is even for
I close my eyes going round and round
forgiven in the dizzy sound.
Then as long as I am undisturbed
I meander between door and curb
I might go in to some light or dark
hallway that preserves my state.
They say life is held in balance
or found like purpose in a moment
of sustenance in tinkling decibels
like on the swan on the carousel.