Me and the Otters
Love makes you feel alive Johnny my animal you have no idea How beautiful you are to me in the morning When it is 5 a.m. and I am lonely Everyone is dying around me I eat spinach bread to keep my sanity, I am Like Lisa in the mental unit with my father I am Muriel who throws tables I play blackjack with the clowns Oh yes I do all that for a salad Your black hair is better than a piece of fate I find in the sky when I am looking 45,000 miles above the earth For things that make it all worthwhile I do this for you but you will never know How dear you are to me You chop leaves in your house in New York City Dream of glamorous women and even too they are great No one will ever love you like I do that is certain Because I know the inside of your face Is a solid block of coal and then it too Something that is warm like warm snow I hold the insides of you in my palm And they are warm snow, melting even With the flurries glutted out of the morning When I get on the plane the stewardess tells me to let loose My heart, the man next to me was the same man as last week Whoever those postmodernists are that say There is no universal have never spent any time with an animal I have played tennis with so many animals I can't count the times I have let them win Their snouts that were wet with health Dripping in the sun, then we went and took a swim Just me and the otters, I held them so close I felt the bump of ghosts as I held them. There is no poem that will bring back the dead There is no poem that I could ever say that will Arise the dead in their slumber, their faces gone There is no poem or song I could sing to you That would make me seem more beautiful If there were such songs I would sing them O they would hear me singing from here until dawn
From Black Life by Dorothea Lasky. Copyright © 2010 by Dorothea Lasky. Used by permission of Wave Books. All rights reserved.