Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,195 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

Your Body's Sea - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Nimble suicide;
How you tickle me,
Run up and down my spine on your back legs
Like a trained dog:
How you swallow the alcohol like a hungry
To stay alive in a windowless nest
All the things which death says to us,
As he veils the day with a quick laugh-
Selling his apocrypha door to door:
Should we let him in now,
Or let him in tomorrow;
If he stays too long, he will eat
All the oranges of our citrus tree before they ripen.
The canker of his eyes are like white persimmons-
For, we’ve made an appointment,
And he has to come in eventually.

You little whore- who have you been
Playing with today,
When the neighbor asks you over to
Fix his washing machine-
How come you are gone so long,
And I have to listen to the toads proclaim
In the aloe next to the carport
Procreating on the stacks of rusting rebar\Until
You come back smelling of
His brand of cigarettes and aftershave:
The chamber of the single bullet
Is more assertive than a game of cards-
In this rented house which is
Closer to the canal than it is to the sea,
And the dated pornography stacked in the
Junked cars amidst the pine trees;
You lips lay as far away from me on the bed
As they can, and we are both so young,
Already starving;

You don’t have to get to your knees to me
And pray, because I am leaving:
The children are still just unplanted thoughts,
Though the rabbits are dead in the rock garden;
Death is sitting there lightly touching a blue cactus,
And cocking his head for no reason:
If I go outside now, he will have me as soon
As my back is turned;
Barefooted, he will jump on me and ride
Me until I spill into the flooding ditch
Attributing to the canal; but soon are all
The greater things deceased,
As the skyscrapers raise their cocaine heads in
Even if the horizon above the sea is beautiful,
Those who are bought and paid for will not allow it,
But death will allow,
And find me like a fallen fruit tarnishing the
Concrete easement;
He will take me up like a dry leaf and crumble me
Between his fingers, like he does to cats;
And after that is done,
You might creep out in your lucid slip,
And go share a beer with the neighbor and
Explain to him, like foreplay, how it was done to
As he tastes your tongue with his,
The beer effervescing your lips, the yeast rising
The fermented death sailing on your body’s sea....

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 8, 2008

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