A Pre-Columbian Self
I burst through the dense and verdant barrier.
I have something to say. Poisoned darts skeet
past my head. The lopping whir of a stone axe.
Now, I hang with the locals. We snort yopo.
The spirit world is the spirit world is the spirit world.
I will run to the end of myself.
Monkey soup is an acquired taste.
I came here to find a certain discus fish.
The one near the headwaters. Silent, brooding
in holiness, abiding in light, a guarantee of fecundity,
of peace outrageous peace.
There is a sandbar here on which a missionary died,
a stone arrowhead in his heart. His wife and son
yet come to the village
to harvest souls. I am also here for something greater
than pliable women, yopo, drunkeness from a fermented drink
of chewed plantain.
Recovery is a memory of a hard world, of life outside steel
dreams. A way of life. I have brought tobacco.
I wash clothes down by the water. A missionary pilot buzzes over.
He drops me a packet of mail. I am too proud. There is
nothing here after Columbus. These people play at life.
I seek a rare tropical fish. Would it live all the way back to the states?
I have only the best aquarium instincts. Apparatus. Nothing can be
captured unless I find it. I am weak. Nothing can be stolen that
is not first given.