POTD - Viking Ships in Los Angeles by Brandon Brown from Poesia Para La Gente

Viking Ships in Los Angeles

by Brandon Brown 

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)