Writing Wednesday: “Sentimental Scenic Sin”
Sentimental Scenic Sin
I am a desert cactus and you are an aloe branch
sitting on the grocer’s stand
somewhere in Bangladesh. The vacuum-sealed
bell peppers eyeing me across the aisle
shine for moister air. You are a riverbed
to the Atlantic, where a ship sunk,
four murderers destroyed their innocence, and a ravished
corpse drowned; and I
cook vegetarian curry in an apartment building
with flat-packed cans of tomatoes.
I mailed you
a book covered in ships and a hardbound cover; you will find
the blazon’d trail of dusty graves and
sediment layers which lead to me.
I shoved the map in a mailbox and
you peeled back the tongue-moist glue
too late—I have written a love letter on
the fibres from yesterday’s Amazon. She is a musician and
you are a computer technician in Buenos Aires.
I am a cactus tended beside the balcony door, and you
are aloe consumed by the neighbour’s
blender, for the spouse’s
newest trend in
health food smoothies.
I am a driftwood pipe and you are an ivory tusk
on display in India next to the English colonial
tradition. I sigh against lips of a skilled
flute player who moved in down the street, from
neon-lit streets in Japan; she
studies political science and I will not marry her.
You smack glass windows, angry-fisted,
because the sky cried on your laundry and you have no socks
for your corporate meeting.
You bring in eighty thousand a year and remember me
through the glare as you gaze to a Catholic city, and
I would have married you if you lived on an elephant
because they can swim
better than I.