A red-faced lion raises its maw. I could be in the supermarket, saran wrap thrown back but there's Hope Wanted Alive scrawled along all the mud-slick side streets where kids roll bottle tops, kids hawk one seed— in Nairobi the slum blues where I stop, gallery-wise. Forty children in clean costumes of show-off purport to live in the two rooms abutting the paintings. You could drink the sugar cane at the end of the street or you could set fire to it. I did see truck tires without trucks. I did see ice cream nobody would lick. And slits up the side of a dress, and always huge knives that cut, in my case, canvas. A big painting not in celebration of our president but the red-faced lion, looking for the supermarket, kids in claws, bottle tops for eyes, nobody costumed who isn't running, politicians with outstretched arms equaling —or trying to—hope. I buy it.
Walking backward from the sea, scales shedding, you seek the cave. This is why the French door admits only ocean. You stare into the louver and forget how to get out. Lull is the word, or loll. The sea returns, completing your pulse, the waves live, each breath of yours worship.