Silent St. Charles trolley rolled downtoward Tulane.
Dragons guarded the Super Egg; watermelon howled
and danced on frog’s legs; the cat’s belly growled
and heaven floated on Old Man with calliope honking.
Blue Man’s harp bended down through town, wailing
in the last hours before the cock sings.
Posed like a wilted flower, heavy breathed in still life,
but believed to be alive after the fashion of art, Daniel
slept lightly with face to the flight of fireflies, soothed
with gentle drafts of laughter and buzzy rites of June bugs.
Honeysuckle and stale beet whirled wheezy in his lungs, air
pulled uneasy through bitter tars in Swiss cheese.
Uncradled, Daniel felt the pulse of existence,
a throbbing insistence which compelled him to overturn
himself from the cardboard box in which he dwelled.
He prepared his toilet with a page from Life; he thrust
his burled fingers through snarls of wild hair and
scratched his beard for something moving there.
Meanwhile, having run the night deeply, the Companion
surfaced to inhale the fleshy air.
The spirit had returned from its casting,
a passage uncertain for a man in a box,
an orthodox notion which Old Man soon
cloaked in motion with his waking message.
A canopy of weeping willows sweeping down from
a high crown of green vines shattered the early sun
into sparkling flakes of dancing motes where twirled
fuzzy gnats, sticky dots of falling saps, and
one sleepy jay chasing a late returning moth
from clover blossoms to stalks of wild onion grass.
A distant rumble scumbled the world, rattled teacups,
caused dogs to lookup, cats to shutup, seagulls to sail
up into a bright white alley between two thunder heads.
Scuds of dusty devils flew across the park,
a spark of lightening struck the Ark, and street lamps
just dimmed, came back on, blue again,.
Daniel huddled under a tattered brown tarp
wrinkled and rough as rhino skin as rain pattered
in splatterings of bold drops, each smelling fresh
with ozone, sweet with the breath of salt air, cold as ice
and sparkling, hanging on the brim of his world
before dripping like sweat into damp earth.
The Elohim might have described him as unseen.
A woman walking within this scene thought of
unclean and hurried on in another life, yet carried
the image of Daniel kneeling, part of a vision
with a meaning which would visit her again
at the end of a long day’s journey into night.