Thursday, January 14, 2016

Farewell to Key West

The tide went out and left
its rime upon the brick
where the voices of skiers reflect
back to the waves. The waves
glint in their immortality.
The skiers, distant in their colors
of skin and hair and artificial
weaves, look more like paintings,
figures on an azure ground.
I'd touch that canvas
with my fingertips but recall
real distances, hear the lazy
cry vacationers make. To forget,
Ramón, and to remember again
are the heart and craft of rhyme.
To hear again is to say goodbye.
I'm not settled in my mind.

Tides of global warming
will wash this island back to its bone
and finally forget all who lived here,
--only an expansive slate that runs into the sky--
lifeless, Raymond, except for the waves.
The waves forget and then they move on.
I'd say they mock us,
but to mock is to remember such-and-such a time,
an empty gesture when we said goodbye.
Ramón, I am forgetting my own mind.

Where I am going do they have snow?
Are the roofs made of tin? Do roosters crow
street to street each morning that blazes
upon ants and newspapers and bromeliads?
It seems I came from somewhere but now
I have to go. The stay was short. A summer.
Ramón, I see the sun lines in your skin.
It must have been much longer. Where
did we come from before we had to go?
Stay here, Raymond, just a bit and remind
me where are the keys and the money and the other bits.
Too early to say goodbye. I forget my own mind.

Forget the screaming tourists. Forget this
over-developed and precious land.
Ramón or Raymond or whatever your name is,
let's forget these shallow waters
and all these young faces. Duval Street runs
from one tide to another. Can you honestly tell me
you care which is which? I can quite take care of myself
in this land of fair money, so I''l return
to the land of the snows. Once there I'll rave
and call it prison, but in this noon sun all waves
pass on in freedom, repeating each after each,
as it has to be, Ramón. Goodbye, Goodbye.
I remember you for now in this darker mind.

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