Postcards from Paradise

Alan Gilbert

We make the undertow easy to reach,
then fill it with stars,
or as the drunk astronomer calls them—
dumpsters for the soul.
No wonder pronouns are confusing
when all of it made me.
Now I practice the art of loss
until I get it right.

We spread pollen for the tractors
drifting in their drivers’ sleep.
I go to Benihana for my birthday—
any place with swirling steak knives
or music chosen by Spinderella.
The latest techniques in snow removal
means I still have time to push
a stroller around. Push it real good.

I stepped on a metronome
after slipping on cooking oil and Philip Morris.
My head went missing,
and it’s yours to find,
but you have to break the internet first.
Isn’t that necklace called a choker?
I’m tired of this dirty corner.
History is its own stain.

Besides that, I can’t find my keys.
I’d store them under my hat
if it warmed more than phlegm
and everything viscous and glistening
when the carcass is slit open.
I’m your weekend warrior with a knee brace
cheering on the last to finish.
I like being back here amid the branches.