Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Stranger

Consider life's billion anxious
gulps of oxygen, smog porridge
sucked ad nauseam. If a wily

Camus invites us to agree
that Sisyphus is happy, I'm
satisfied to dream Camus'

Algeria: super-heated sands
hemming the Mediterranean,
and a raucous newborn

gleaming with slime, a just-plucked
shell held high into the sun. Her
nomad-father's rutted palms

obliterate all light, his desert-
dimmed eyes squinting to find
stripes, moles, stigma, signs-

imperfections to justify
a drowning. No surprise. Just too few
dried figs, no gods or fires

driving them forward, into the sea,
ancient terrors, shallow waters
heaving salt, fish, history.

originally published in The Brownstone Review No. 5

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