A Child in His Arms
They say so much sky in his chest addicted him
Alfonso Barabinski goes to the Opera with chickens in his pockets.
He bites a hole in an apple and in that hole
He pours a shot of vodka.
He drinks from the apple in turn, to our health!
--just before his death—Alfonso
announces: I will become a government musician
whispering: better one of them should
die than one of us—
in the chill and iron heart of cobblestone street every woman he meets
comes forth to kiss his face.
Every mother buried just east of town, an honest place
To drown: quiet homegrown bodies
Lie down. Under this earth, he is no less blessed.
Those still alive must raise their hands.
He sets off for the beach, on foot, a good mile
And a half of wind,
A vodka glass in his pockets, and when the bottle is empty
He drops his stripped shirt and walks, a child in his arms, his mouth open, in to the sea.
“Boatswain, I am your husband! I let this water
fill my lungs: boatswain, I am your foolish husband”