the pale ambassador

to a.h.

That warm bright California rage
throws sunspears, tans smiles to leather.
a place half-here, half-there, still home
only in irritating sense of red, white, blue.

The racing dry river of midwest west
covered by the metal plane’s bridge.
Knowns dot it, rocks breaking the stream
with turbulence and glances downwards

Here seen a velvet envoy, from a land far flung,
Always scratching letters, soaking in the sun,
Making tired dances, until the dance is done,
Crafting words and smiles with a salty tongue.

but unnerving quiet when guard is down.
he looks, he waits, he watches the halfmoon,
has another gin, and jerks his head to see
a voice with sharp eyes, but turns aside

— the speaker’s not the same. Foreign sands
feel smoother; foreign waters feel softer
The sense of it-will-rain lies, the smell
of air hangs smoke and gravel and clear water.

A spider without her web will starve. Reach
eastward but not for east, northward not for
snow, but the blue brown hazel gold mirrors
that show portraits at favored angles.