Key West Valentine

Key West Valentine

Key West Valentine

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A weekly poem, read by the author.
July 19 2000 3:00 AM

Key West Valentine

1. Sea Grape

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Loose leaf:
golden
fire-streams

branching into bayous
of darker flame,
breaking apart

near the rim
to finer, finer veins:
unnavigable Amazonia

in the shape of a heart
—a real heart, dear,
not the idealized kind,

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and thus all throb
and trouble, and fallen
as if to remind us

we're fire at the core,
various heats,
though everything

mottles,
at this latitude:
fruit and flower

and once-pink
porch columns,
even the puddle

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between the bakery
and Kingdom Hall
giving up thunderhead

and rainbow, even
the concrete pier
a slow study

in corrosion's arts:
nothing unchecked
or unstippled,

(old pink taxi
rusting in the sun)
nothing simple or im-

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pervious to decay:
why not
this fallen valentine,

candybox token
veined in hot gold,
its tropic wax

embalmed and blazing?

 

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2. Catalina Macaw

 

Durer painted a wing like this
—but only one, to imply
a whole too splendid

to render, or ask
that we visualize
who extends

this fierce lemon
-and-orient-sapphire
stretched toward

whatever it is
sublimity points to.
Though Bubba's no angel,

—she bit out the bars
out of her cage!—
and attitude flashes

in her rapidly contracting
and pulsing eye,
flickering dot of pupil.

Are you the one
whom my soul seeks,
she seems to telegraph

in alert and eager Morse,
are you my tireless
companion,

the faithful other?
Pulse. Ruffle
of the feather-shallows.

No? Well then, cracker?