Walking To Work
For Michele A

Street lamps shed distorted light in not yet dawn
a squirrel scratches up an oak chattering
birds waken and sing the sun up
a car’s starter down the block grinds
refuses to turn over an old vehicle

Between brownstones and warehouses
the East River glimpsed
flows slow and metallic as sky

Michele walks in the unknowing dark
footprints sink invisibly through sidewalks
into the condensed city archaeology
underground plains of rich red alluvial clay
earth shedding skin in layers
squanders plant chlorophyll

The bakery a fragrant refuge
comfort of round loaves

texture of grain and powdered sugar
sustaining aromas of vanilla and almond
sweet perfume of baking yeast and flour
rich lost tropics of cinnamon and nutmeg

What sorrow can exist in the goodness of bread.

A Night’s Voyage

A thin slice of lemon light sails through blackened sky
reflection floats on water
pharaoh’s golden papyrus reed boat
pulse of the planet
emotional tides slap at moistened reeds
narrow taunt vessel meant for racing
single square sail pushes it into
the heart of the immense Pacific

Serenity and silent revelry suddenly break
a pod of whales blows and sounds
slap water in delight with great tails
air fills with bellowing of cavernous lungs
musky fishy smell of warm breath

Night moves fast
the never ending ocean beneath it
by the time the sun rises
we cross into tomorrow.

Santa Marta

I walk the streets in spring sunlight
a cloudless pulsing blue sea
half-asleep and half-awake
a man whose flesh soil
bones stones
blood saltwater
hair grows grass
eyesight sunlight
breath the wind
thoughts drifting clouds

as if after a long wasting illness
I drift in shallows
float in memory
old tide-marks of appetites
desires refunded into history
civilization’s cruelties all intact

Long ago footfalls echo in the mind
grooves of city streets
conversations spring up from building walls
an empty table fills
people in intimate conversation
shuttered rooms with cracked and peeling ceilings
where we hurriedly indulged
in what we called love

Tall palms and magnolias scrap the sky
narrow and seemingly abandoned streets of mud
reverberate with jazz and calypso all night

orgasmic cries of young girls
easily disposing of their body’s wearisome baggage

A golden voice sings out
One makes love only to confirm one’s loneliness

Another voice answers
We become what we dream

I hunt among gray paving stones
for a key to open imagination’s gallery
a room full of portraits opens
immediately devoured by a giant anaconda
the coiled snake digests the history of art

I feel the ambivalence
fortunes spread tentacles
out to grasp my sleeve

Gleaming voices of painted women
permeate the darkness
promise divine pleasures

Snatches of a quartet leak
from a café with scarlet awnings
reminding me of Emily saying
an invention to confirm human loneliness

I walk with attentive tenderness
deflowering my thoughts
wondering what life gives

Brothels overflow
Even to be half-awake among sleep-walkers
seems frightening at first

I catechize silences
follow the cries of hawkers
sad pleas of alms seekers

Lime whitewash on adobe walls
cracks into millions of oyster-colored patches
imitation of lepers who beg
in life’s dark alleyways

I feel stairs creak under my tread
a notice tacked onto the cypress door
spelling out in hieroglyphic

Zachary Guadamour is one of the real assumed legal aliases of a writer who had the good59115_1634441907407_1465808_n fortune to study with Peter Wild, Richard Shelton and Steve Orlen. He is totally deaf in one ear and blind in the other. He lives along the US Mexican border in the militarized State of Disbelief, studying the linguistic and cultural argot developing there. He has written poetry and prose for decades, and prefers to call his poetry scribbles to distinguish from most of what is passed off as poetry on line.