Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,164 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

Like An Immaterial Promise - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Waves that weep in lagoons like homeless children
Kiss the feet of stingrays,
And look at me with broken glass eyes:
I go through them spreading my wings and hoping for
Impossibly sunnier days:
I remember high school, reading Romeo & Juliet as a freshman:
I look up through the wild scuppernongs and wonder why I cannot
Be the fox that forever wants to crack her cheerleading
Joints, and suck the marrows;
And now the Mexicans are flooding back into the old country
Of extinct Indians: They are celebrating Easter right in the neck
Of palm beach,
The lavish houses surrounding the lagoon like a cathedral,
And I walk out alone and look up at what the sky is advertising:
I think of her, all the girls who can represent just one goddess
Folding clothes and baking pies for different gentlemen across
The waves;
Looking through the banners held in the teeth of clothespins,
Maybe they can see all the way across the traffic to the park, and
The little wilderness surviving there in the minutiae of their surcease:
That is where I am crossing the shallows, fingers out like whiskers
To feel the ripples she sends
Like something that has suddenly gone away into a glowing bed under
The knees of cypress; and I wonder if looking up from her bedrooms
If she doesn’t see me there, long jawed and hungry like a gaunt
Zoetrope that stretches through the darkness of her window
And lands like an immaterial promise across the foot of her bed.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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