My day arrived on the sill
A blade of light cut my morning eyes with a soap's smoothness.
neighbor's dogs complaining,
and their roosters calling out; 'uckin asssshole'!
I lay in bed watching the light pooling on the small table.
ribs rising and falling; two over-yeasted breads pressing into their bony pan.
Someone in the neighborhood was making toast and coffee;
smelled like it does walking into 76 degrees out of 38.
I cackled out loud, ' uckin asssshole!'
(Mr. Olive said that's what roosters say.)
I would stop by and see Mr. Olive today.
6:45 a.m. I was making my own toast coffee.
Three blocks away Mr. Olive's birds were calling me, 'uckin asssshole'.
It would be a good day; I could tell.
I'd come out of my outdoor shower
and just maybe
I'd stand naked on the lanai and
watch Mrs. Cabral duck behind the banana trees
thinking I wouldn't catch her peeking.
I headed towards Mr. Olive's.
asphalt glowing from the early sun and sprinkle
my shoes still rain-wet;
(smelled like the sock padding Mr. Olive stuffed into his peg leg socket;
his wooden limb was his freedom around the radish beds and pens.)
On his arm was Madelene (with two hearts)
blue and pinkish-red, like the back of of his good leg; a rough road map to his only foot.
I would ask, "How are you today Mr. Olive?", knowing his answer.
"I'm one-legged, that's how I am"... . "but", he would continue,
"I remember when my 'hanger' would get so hard it was like having both my legs"!
Then his face would 'pop' and light up like cake candles.
Yesterday I had stopped by to say hello to Mr. Olive.
He had not heard me walk up on the fallen twigs and Macaranga leaves
too soft to crackle.
His cheeks were still tear streaked; deep quiet sounds boiled in his chest.
He was sitting on a mango stump, a dead pig hung throat-slit to his right,
the blood pooling at his foot, like ruby batter on a dirt griddle.
you might have thought his attention was on the red hibiscus
but he was looking with his mind
at no thing
By his leg of wood the brilliant blade still wet.
I had happened upon Mr. Olive's adding up time
a private total.
His damp history hung framed, studio still, a stoney ritual face
hardwood and repetition.
how old was Mr. Olive? this old dirt digger and few note hummer?
old as that rotting fence with the beetles
old as his chipped hands and grin cracked mouth
old enough to move about and make the sounds
I turned and walked away.
I passed the old bathtub that held green water.
A rooster jerked its head back;
a solitary Hematite eye;
a wet black moon
firing my own dry tears.
Bamboo fluttered and
swayed down to the feathered captives,
the fresh water in the creek slid across million-year-old pebbles.
Yesterday, in the wind and earthly rills
I sought to find the necessary similarities.
a truth beyond our epidermal differences.
That which sets apart were none,
the same remain Our Sums.