I held up the saintly jawbone of fish
picked clean by sea-gulls,
and you imagined a fence, a garden gnome
holding a cigarette, staring past
a row of white tulips.
You mentioned Pest.
I said, look the colonnade of teeth
where we have entered,
and you made yourself
a tongue balancing between
the short wood pillars
in the stone mouth of lion
guarding a bridge to nowhere.
You said, drink brandy from a dress shoe,
take the canoe, head west:
the mayflies will fall like confetti
upon your arrival.
You imagined a bit of both
heaven and hell in the dark water,
and if you could get right down to it:
a tiny place, circled by a school of blue fish.
Two Russian men walked naked
into the freezing water. Two Russian men
walked naked out of the freezing water.
I knew the wave would reach you,
that this little Odessa would wipe
its indifferent mouth on your blue jeans.
I said we have practice with this kind of thing:
one must learn to open windows
so as not to scare the tiny bird
asleep on the ledge.
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