from Rio to Jamaica

to know her is to love her (but not like that)
like a green cat who claims the sunlight
and lets you share it: like that.
any woman who puts jarred sand in her bed
fifty kilometres from the beaches
is one of God’s champions
to wake in some barely-gendered female domain
where other men will beseech and joke
you know they are all good hearts –
to be counted in that sunlight, they would have to be.

in your own realm now, you look out at these others
these men you live it out with
who trust each other enough
to ask questions concerning that outside world
the ones who live on the sea floor with you
you see them shuffle their paperwork, their caution
every decent man defined by the honesty of
his limitations; the saddest thing about loudmouths
is they miss out on this solidarity
this plain illumination, together, in a good
nameless sunlight

you look out at them – to her rolling a perfect cigarette
over some saga profane she’s sharing with you
to the others, swinging easily on un-grandiose hopes
you’ve seen them
perplexed, then calmed, then laughing into this world
your own smile now is so small and mighty and sad
there is a choir behind it, there are shells in the dunes
there is pizza for all, there is trust
as the heart splits and fuses, splits and fuses; a rhythm –
maybe that’s what a heartbeat is
because you can see them, really see them
you can feel their honour and you
can never save them from the Big End, nor they you
but now we are here together
and ‘love’, you realize
(after all those ragged histories)
is the silent state which may occur when
one human-sized portion of the universe
can see another sovereign human-sized portion of the universe
good and clear
our holstered guns in a pile
all coloured shields leant up against white walls
as a song in the megamix lays into us like a boxer
“so if you wanna dance
the party never ends…
from Rio to Jamaica… “


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