Aluminum Afternoon

Robot rain clouds grind by slowly on these aluminum afternoons,
the sky checkered with blue steel, cold, unforgiving seams and bolt heads.

We’re sitting on the beach running our fingers through the coffee grinds
watching the rusting sun move along the track and disappear behind the skyscraper skyline

A ship on fire sails past us in the brown coffee ocean,
it’s canons firing children’s shoes into the waves percolating in the fishing weirs

In the distance, a man wearing a tuxedo is walking down the beach toward us,
when he reaches us, he stops and places both hands in his jacket pockets.

“Would you like a mint?” he says, his mouth: a bowling alley on fire.
“Yes, we would like a mint,” we reply, our mouths: just regular mouths.

The mint brings my insides to life,
skittering to and fro across the pink of my tongue.

The man in the tuxedo tips his hat, and turns, walking directly into the ocean
the cool breeze stings my peppermint mouth as I watch his hat slip beneath the waves.

Our hands touch beneath the soggy grinds and I feel your skin for just a second.
It’s the only real thing about this place and I revel in the feel of it.

The shiny brass trumpets are washing ashore by the dozen
and the children run, laughing, and gathering  them for the fire.

An hour later, we’re standing along side a fire taller than us,
watching, as it curls around the brass buttons and reaches toward the steel night sky.

The children laugh and run in a circle around the flames, carelessly weaving around us.
A young boy loses his footing in the grinds, and collapses into the blazing trumpets.

In a flash you reach into the flame, grab him by the shorts, and pull him out,
he looks up at you and laughs while the skin falls off the cool steel of his face.

And when the same thing happens to the skin on your right hand
I look out over the brown water, pretending not to notice.

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  1. Insane. Love it.

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