Peaks of Glass

I’ve been chasing
peaks of glass.

Sure of salt and sand
and any destination,
there’s still a shape
I’m searching for,
and I know I’ll have to stretch
to find it. 

Sitting in the dark,
eyes iced over,
gasping for time,
finding faces
just after waking—

That green-skinned junkie troll
who drags his foot
along the chain-link fence-box
over the roar of the highway—

A German dominatrix
from Martha’s Vineyard, a doctor
of the arts. Her photographs
were her evidence, her studio rooftop
where we fucked the New York lights—

An actor who shat out thirty pounds
from a case of giardia he caught in Oaxaca
while his dog chewed splinters
and the rain came
through the roof—

An orphan, wrapped in nothing
but the cold Venetian fog.
She went to bed with her brother,
just to get a taste of who she was—

I was always one step
from a brick in the face, a half pint
of Old Crow and a box of rocks,
blood on the asphalt
where my skull impacted
and I cracked it. 

Wet night streets, always wet.
the streetlight orbs radiating wet
sheets, each droplet lit in liquid
lines. Night trees dripping,
the bus shelter blown,
every hilltop thrashed.

That wet sky always smelled
of mystery and promise.
I could taste the night currents
whispering, but I didn’t spend my time
in discotheques or ham parlors.

Many others learned
to speak, but I did not.
My dream is just beginning. 

Stone, steel, and the weight
of water reflected in waves,
barnacles, kelp and wrack.
Six old pilings settled
into centuries of silt.
A stream dammed, digging sideways
through the sand. 

Some sounds are older than others.

I stood in the cold
waiting for the night boat,
the mistral howling holy fear
and hunger. The flat ground shifted
with the shriek of metal ship-sides,
lines straining on cleats,
horns, white lights, and klaxons.
A mountain slides by, turns
and then marches to the sea.