Viking Ships in Los Angeles
The simple have their slogans, and the wise their proverbs.
A builder has wood, rough and lifeless in piles.
My eyes, they have your eyes. My breath mixes with your breath.
Once, we drew a map to your house on a brown paper napkin and sailed
through neighborhood alleys like Viking ships
until we reached your staircase, its flickering light bulb
suspended above us like some artist sketched it
over our heads to show everyone that our brains were full
of ideas. Really, we were just dreaming of buried treasure
and our hands on each other’s bodies,
tracing one another’s mouths with our tongues. Here,
on these same steps, our fingers now have
another set of fingers to hold and study like hammers or worn-faced coins.
And it’s here where I have built for us a tower,
one that stretches up from the planks of the creaking deck under our feet
so that when you and I scale it, we can look out
over all the familiar houses, yapping dogs and divorcees sunbathing in their backyards.
Each time I cup your face in my hand, I know that I’ll be with you
as my hair grows longer and my clothes become old. I know
that if you leave your body before I leave my body, I’ll carry you down
from our perch like wood from the pile, polish two coins
with my trembling fingers, and rest them on your eyes as you begin
to float down the tar-black river on a bed made of flowers and sticks.
I had the privilege of meeting Brandon (@yourmoneyisours ) during our Poesia Para La Gente on the LA Metro. He read a number of poems, but this one, read at edge of the pond in Macarthur Park just lit us all up. He was gracious enough to let me publish it here on 5 things.
The links directly to Brandon reading his poem: on Vimeo
Below is the whole video (his poem starts at 22:35)