“ONE NIGHT IN THE TAR PITS”

One night in the tar pits;
A dream I was stuck in.
And the baby walrus washed ashore.
People ran away from the rising tide
and I stumbled in, off the curb;
Sank in the mud, down,
down, down— lifting my arms;
The baby walrus was dead.
The baby seal was also dead,
covered in dusty white
flowers and feathers.
There was not much
inside that black bubbling water
that hadn’t died or wasn’t dying.
It was all so long ago that the people were
right, running from the shore—
up the broken bricks, praying for laughter—
for wasted breathes, grinning like moonlight.
One night in the tar pits; I woke up,
still stuck in my dream(s).
“Oh fuck,” I said.
And the baby walrus was still
dead. And the baby seal, still
preaching to the sun
like bleached bones
sailing over my waking grave.
Coffee, coffee, and more
coffee saved me that day;
This day, the next—
and each day after
that I do not escape my dreams,
anchored like a cypress tree,
growing for a thousand years.
“Oh fuck,” I say. And I go on dreaming,
while my burrow in the tree trunk
goes on burning. Sssssssssssssssss—
(the sound it makes) sssssssssssss.

narrative poem written on 02-29-2012 by: on mattkane.com
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