(Sept 24, from underground)
NYC ghosts and flowers
I swam in Long Island Sound at night while they drank on a shore of gems we shined flashlights on in amazement. It is autumn in Maine but summer on the New York coast, where the water was warm as it played me, making me sing. I stayed close to the shore and the quiet laughter of my friends so as not to be pulled out into the darkness, or into the mouths of sharks. Campground voices said, “we’ll bring this knife in case we have to kill a shark,” making laughter spill from each pore of my body. The water filled my pores with warm salt. drops of flame across its surface, lightning colored and breathing to me their hidden wish. These same sparks appeared and disappeared all across the shore. Voices said, “Fire bugs,” but I think they were tiny meteorites.
When I got out of the water and sat nude on a rock to dry, I was amazed at how the night air was warm on my now relaxed body, exhausted from having pushed us through congested freeways from Cape Cod to Long Island. The salt was sticky and warm on my nakedness, and humidity from the trees was rainforest like.
In the morning I rose from my tent before dawn and ran down the beach of white sand and stones. It was deserted except for fisherman. I thought one man was a rock in the water for his black wet suit and stillness, until he pulled on a giant thrashing fish. I stopped to watch him deliver it from the water, easing its terrified wet silver from the blackness, a soul embodied. Other fisherman looked like giant birds on the shore, or Gods waiting for dawn, approving of creation. As the sand brightened I saw a giant white jellyfish, whole and alive, and lay down next to it.
New York City is myriad noise that pulls at the hairs on my arms as static heat. And myriad bodies passing each other rapidly, trying not to look. All thought and memory passes through the subways, moving uptown and downtown constantly. All immigrants passed through this way as well. My ancestors as well. All the ancestors of my companions have been on this continent since the beginning. Upon first seeing the tall buildings and stacks of freeway, gasps, “This is not good for the earth.” New York City is where everyone comes to be forgiven.