May 20, 2020

Black Lava Dust

evergreen line drifts by slowly asea bearded men aboard
setting sail for mysterious ports unknown to me
water splish-splashing sharp rocks where old moss grows
at the seaside restaurant $3.99 breakfast special 
eggs flip sunny side up down criss-cross
sizzle steam over stools empty and cracked with use
by old men who shuffle in and read their newspapers 
talk about old days old ways old flames old neighborhoods 
their favorite deli long gone now a hip coffee shop they don’t 
feel comfortable in with the laptopped headed millennials 
in another part of town—leather chairs old wooden desks 
scratched with names, initials—lights hum a dum dum
librarians peering over black frame glasses
desperate lonely middle aged men making passes
french horn says jacque le bleu mon ami
in the downtown plaza with gray concrete planters
waterfalls spray rainbows out of old rusty metal spigots
dark sunglasses reflect reflections of bird feeding reflective old ladies
dogs romping around—joggers who can’t outrun death
two story brownstone and she’s living alone
red- green- white- yellow in the living room by the lamp aladdin lives in
on the oak coffee table with conversation magazines never opened
sun slips off her dress shamelessly through the blinds end of day
automatic timer clicks— time to settle in for the evening
over in the honolulu of big waves and grass skirts and mai tais
when the barbecue is done and ashes burn bright orange
coconut trees hula dance to trade winds melodies 
pig poi pele volcano fire mountain 
black lava dust on soles of flip-flops tracked back to des moines iowa 
des plaines illinois ypsilanti mitchigan like my old grandma said
in her broken russian english
millions of little towns with decaying greyhound bus stations
forgotten by cars and people zooming on the interstates oblivious 
remembered only by members of the brotherhood of poor travelers 
aged men with crooked backs sweeping the floor
of used bus tokens and torn up lottery tickets 

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