I'm the original two-hearted brawler. I gnaw the scrawny heads from prawns, pummel those mute, translucent crustaceans, wingless hummingbirds, salt-water spawned. As the Catalonians do, I eat the eyes at once. My brawny palms flatten their mainstays. I pop the shells with my thumbs, then crunch. Just watch me as I swagger and sprawl, spice-mad and sated, then dabble in lager before I go strolling for stronger waters down to Sloppy Joe's. My stride as I stagger shivers the islands, my fingers troll a thousand keys. My appetite shakes the rock of the nation. The force of my miction makes the mighty Gulf Stream.
Green and blue and white, it is a flag
for Florida stitched by hungry ibises.
It is a paradise of flocks, a cornucopia
of wind and grass and dark, slow waters.
Turtles bask in the last tatters of afternoon,
frogs perfect their symphony at dusk—
in its solitude we remember ourselves,
dimly, as creatures of mud and starlight.
Clouds and savannahs and horizons,
its emptiness is an antidote, its ink
illuminates the manuscript of the heart.
It is not ours though it is ours
to destroy or preserve, this the kingdom
of otter, kingfisher, alligator, heron.
If the sacred is a river within us, let it flow
like this, serene and magnificent, forever.