(04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

The Back Nine

We can split the atom,
And see the fetus of death-
We can throw rocks from the moon,
If we want to:
We can write a new punk poem,
But her eyes will still remained closed;
Even if she is full of senile breath-
Just a young thing-
Only seventeen and right now losing
Her virginity with her father’s
Business partner on the back nine:
The manicured hills of murdered bones,
The alligators’ teeth,
The up to date anthropology beneath the cypress.
While the little kids poke the floater,
Their crystal mothers snort cocaine:
With traces of snow on every
Ten dollar bill in Florida:
The Hurricanes are our favorite football team:
The black and blue herons are flying into the secret mangrove,
The hidden junkyard for the tarnished patina
Of conquistadors,
The open shells of the tortoise’s memories,
The air is filled with the saccharine haze of
Burning sugar-cane-
A water moccasin is curled up next to the
Front wheel next to the dead kitten....
We are waiting for the faithful school bus:
The lions roar,
The mosquitoes swarm,
And she walks out of the swamp,
The young fury-
Sore and torn,
Her eyes like a rosy morning as from the
Baneful east builds the vicious storm.

by Robert Rorabeck

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