Western Bronze Display
Cross the marina in darkness, bucket of water
poured into water.
Two men leave as a pair to drink beer
thirstily, like men on fire, hands torn
open and brown. Boards crack under the lithe one.
Pelican open on a skiff, low over water and
schools tilt and rise in swells. Bird swivels, inquires
What is it you're writing?
“Cross in the morning to Animas, La
Boca. The beach at Bucerias
a machine for lifting water.”
Why are you sweating? Have you been drinking?
I weigh 400 pounds. And yes.
Days recede on trawlers, sloppy with
Inside the gorge a Ditch Witch rusts, slashed by rain and hungry.
Hovels become jungle as they rot. Iguanas enter temple trees
when light rides down whitewashes them.
Chaste actions of macaws at their seeds. Everyone knows the macaws are alone.
I saw one, sooty, with a leg off and its eye
but at night while we sleep the bird the lizard the soot fog sea convene
in a clearing and are rebuilt by the jungle.
Eels colonize our ponds themselves.
It's natural to see a duckling taken under by an eel.
When ducks and swans overbreed, eels maintain a balance.
The eels refill drained ponds in weeks. Their mucous coating keeps them
undiseased, as they squirm from the harbor
through damp grasses pond to pond, in waves.
It's more important they lay open in the
these early histories
and whether or not we mount fauna like
in canisters or wallets.
eats grain each day, little by little. Even the noun eats acid.
You in a Spanish place. The year out of order.
Only a tent city stirs each morning, more nothing.
End of vista, bathers, boats. End of
steam off of food—no oysters
End of food, bathers, mercenary venturing in the bay
where the vote ends, and parity. Birds on their branch end up party to the tzar's
descant. No dogs.
Dogs end their lost hunting when a wave wipes
the cathedral steps—end of nose
end of hope.
Sunslaves cease their flagellations, blotted
by a wave
beneath the lawnchair where Wayne sat, in jeans, tracking a waterspout.
No trees here. Used them all for firewood.
No wife, no surf, no work.
Houses of the gorges mostly stone, flat roofed and low.
Walls thick to protect against heat and
storms. Men lay beams
from wall to wall, on top of these a mat of canes, on top of those flat stones.
Crumbled mica, hauled from streams atop the
mountain, must be laid
under a Jupiter in retrograde
says Wayne, eyeing the storm's mess
moving over roofs
tamping clay into the gaps.
Like good fiddle or the firmament you are
free to the core
gleaming with salt.
You are free to the core and stuffed lung, where tar lives.
Evening tells me you are odious
but as lustrous soot clots down walls into
December and January
breath, it thinks and is turned over into language
by a bridge, each day, in the mist, keeping
A vision of you in tears
taking pictures in a dress, sobbing in frustration and sadness
like a tic bisects me spread out half-in-sun, sound of the workers tapping.
Hollow pole dragged over asphalt. Gas
truck comes round, jingle blaring,
bangs across a bridge of planks and beachhead
spiked with storm debris. A woman selling pies swears
it's just one thing after another after
then keels over.
Her husband's perched above the sea,
smoking on a throne with his pit tied to it, voracious for our throats,
tearing at its chain even when
way down the beach we reach the final bend and look back.
It barks roughly
and holy that way. It demands our hoarded blood.
[James Capozzi is the author of Country Album, which won the New Measure Poetry Prize and is published by Parlor Press. He teaches at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia.]
Copyright © 2014 by James Capozzi, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.