Florida

I.

The sky seems bigger here.
Always blue, I could reach up
and touch it like the clouds
are made of cotton candy,
hanging, limp,
gobbed.
Pluck me off a piece I want to say,
as we plucked the gushing-warm fruit
bruised from the heat
out of the baskets and into our thirsty palms.
They were about a dollar apiece.
That is how the world is here, suspended for you--
desires dangling loosely in your heat-exhausted
vision, the reminiscent fruits of
dreams.

II.

Plunge
the word dives deeper than fall or even plummet
because I give it a lunge
and take off, melted.
Water is filling, lique-beautiful
around me; release one hand
and brush a crunch of cement, an awaiting shore.
Night's taken us here
oh tropical wonderland,
rainforest of lazy palms, waxing moon,
waterfalls and chlorine--
smoke from God's cigars trailing its path among
rare, faintly peppered stars.
They insist that I float on my back so I do,
and from here it really is a perfect dome,
a snow-globe of night capped above me.
No wonder people still think the world revolves
around them?
The moon rises further above a shifting veil of blue.
It does.

III.

I've been sent here
to wait for you.It would make sense; the patience put to
work today in sweltering lines and misting bodies
taught me waiting,
and their never-ever-ever-shutting-up about
hopes, wishes, and dreams taught me
the assuaging embrace of fantasy.
An oasis is next up on the tour of the desert
I am in and I reach for it, cringing terrified
it will disappear, a hallucination,
and I'll drown in
salt--sweat and tears.
I will wish on a star for you
though it does make a difference
that I am
me.

IV.

They pop into being--
crackle crackle BOOM;
shower me in sparkles the way
the radiant multi-cultural experience rains on my
eyes, languages lulling and sparking,
like the fireworks, from foreign tongues to my wondering ears.
Lovely world; I view it now
in hourglass form--the people
scurrying from diversity to diversity,
from dark skin to pastry to spice to
drum to silk, the pretty things
bursting and fading. I hop into culture.
It leaps, and it spins, and it never stops.
Boom.
Que piensas tĂș?
Why must we see our faith an explosion in the sky
to get it?

V.

I had a dream last night.
In the dream, I was an esteemed ballerina
in a recital
in a football stadium.
Yet I kept messing up; the movements of the other
dancers fluid, but mine awkward
almost to the point of complete, hesitating stillness.
Immobility. You were there grinning,Chinese eyes, in the bleachers with my mother--
and I was drop-dead embarrassed to see
you there witnessing my every fatal mistake.
But then the music faded, and I clambered up to you.
Reached out.
Hugged you. You hugged back.
It was one of the warmest,
fullest, deepest, most honest hugs
I have ever had in my life--
though I suppose it wasn't really my life,
and your arms, if they ever wrap around me like that,
will have faded away with the music and the dream
before I get a chance
to feel them.

VI.

There is something about the glow of street signs
at night in a crowded, muggy plaza,
something about the rhythm in a place
that draws life in, forces it to move.
In obedience to Mother
my sister and I stride, shout, gaze, dance, laugh
our stomachs out of our bodies--
past Margaritaville, where we aren't allowed in;
beneath the open black sky, where we are.
Makes me wonder now
how many people we've passed who've simply eyed us and thought
Look at those freaks!
But oh I have my reasons;
I am tipsy with the tang of the hour,
the sweet familiarity of the company.
Even when, later, the way home is cold,
and we are still glowing,
I just figure that
the life and the light
must have been contagious.

VII.

Goodbye, Sunshine.
The sweating earth, the lovely bleached towels,
the party of four at every glass-topped table
all must end, like
everything else in the world.
She may never come again.
I realize that if nothing else, the
heat will still come back like a brick oven
in my mind to haunt me; and
what must happen next is waiting.
I float, every moment, on my back, yet the sky is
no longer cartoon-purple in the twilight--
home means reality--
and I feel my fingers prune up and hush through the water
in quiet acceptance of this.
Oh Lord, I also realize that
since the day I arrived in this place,
I have never once seen a clock.
God's time, Ma laughs with me, is Florida time.
Maybe it has melted me.
The invisible hands are ticking till
the second when I finally
hear your answer and fall,
liquid flesh all over,
back into you.