people walk by on the dock, looking into my windows. mostly, when we see each other, they quickly avert their swimming pool’d eyes

i do not know
how this plumbing
works, in a floating
home made of plastic.
40 years old, not so
bad for a scatter of
plastic and steel,
ballast to keep
that which we deem
in its rightful position.

it is an attempt to
right myself, following
tubes to their hidden coil.
there are tanks in this
home, tanks to keep
my waste separate from
myself. if the heart
had a window, an area
of clarity, might we find
these lives less befuddling?
if we could see the eyes
dilate, yes, and also
the heart leap and quiver,
would we perhaps be
less likely to send
our words in barbed coil
from the caverns of mouth?
i recall hearing that police
officers respond more leniently
to women who show emotional forms
of submission, though react with
anger and derisive bludgeoning
judgment when men do
the same.

might a man,
crippled by fear,
show less mercy,
when presented with
clear view of a
tender heart?
and might i find
comfort in the sound
of a silent sleep,
were i able to identify
where my waste is kept?
these hoses so quickly
take themselves from me,
i cannot wedge my eyes
into their chambered passages.

today, just moments
ago, i mix red
miso paste with kitchari
spices, unable to keep
my metaphors or
my palate,

when we celebrate
the birth of a nation,
we also revel in the death
of another. this much
is clear; i come from
a frayed tethering of
human bodies. long ago
we lost our culture.
long ago, shoeless,
we cobbled tools to aid
in our search for these
hidden coils.

sticky people cluster
like flies along the sidewalks
of a sprinting town.

terrified men,
clad in the latest
fashions of their peers,
walk wide in an effort
to project power.
women feeling both
reassured and disgusted
in the shadow of their
wooden men,
armor themselves in thigh
gaps and binding spiritual pants.

i, too, terrified,
swing my shoulders
out in the street,
trying to keep fuzzy
floating seeds a safe
windmilled distance from

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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