by Alan Britt
You enter the first pepper flower, mascara
disguised as lavender periwinkle kneading
Florida white kingdom limestone.
You forget to wear clothes——imagine
how I feel.
You decide once & for all to kick off
your shoes, hours, days, weeks, months,
years before your number's called.
You amaze everyone with your courage—
storm the courthouse, frighten summa
cum laudes on a fieldtrip to Vegas &
enjoy Latino thighs rinsed in red, green
& white flags of freedom, below diplomas,
singing only the good die young.
But you enter the cavern responsibly,
trailing an oil lantern guide who dies
by the wick & lives by the wick.
You pause, I notice, for grandmothers,
yours & mine, to cross Kennedy Boulevard,
circa 1972, against oncoming traffic.
Pirates arrive on flatbeds stacked
with papier-mâché ships & mutinies
round the clock upon this rolling ball
with frozen oceans, receding hairline
Wall Street turds shackled in shame
but tunneling a midnight blue artery
headed straight for our collective