I waltz in, expecting tangos
and paso-doblés, patterned in Olé
and mango-lassoed tongue.
The room is a humid cube
of bodies quaint and queer,
a champagned aviary to the ears.
All are gathered in albatrossed
ground-plans around imaginary eggs,
clutching plastic, cawing politics.
How do you know him is
a common icebreaker,
calving all walks of occupation
and I say, we shared poetry once
but he’s never come to my shows,
though I chalk it up to the business.
And the clockwork caws turn awkward
so we try long-distance or dosey-do
or don’t say anything at all.
It’s a lot to think in present-time,
speed-dating a forest of strangers
all pre-paired and pinned together
and I wonder about the food web
where one chew churns up several
in these invested woods wherein
Interest is paid dependent upon
Production Values, Protections,
and mostly Liberal Protests
and my hands are beating wings
intense like sudden heart flutters,
aposematic sputters of word-stutters
and I hope they find it charming.
Like ogling a birdwing butterfly.
Only I think they prefer it pinned
to a poster rather than all over them
like a parasite artist.
My phone tells me to breathe.
I press it to update me, sedate me,
but it presents me nothing but the present.
Here and now never warns you
of the future communion had you taken
one step to the left instead of right,
one beat better and I would’ve been married,
one side effect away from carried to Norway,
if I just play my cards all clubs and hearts.
But I fold for the night.
Dance card full, I two-step
to the streets of outer space
where sound bends predictable
and the butterfly is infinitesimal small
and less exhausted in the moonlight.