"Curious George Goes to the Beach"

Alan Gilbert


The bayou garden's petro sheen

laps a dinner bell where

swallows hide their nest.

The push reel mower

got a second wind once

the Benzedrine kicked in,

leaving a table filled

with rosé and ashtrays for

the wedding party crashers.

I've come to like your lies

turning everything less square,

just as folding a flag that way

makes it resemble a sandwich

packed with crooked salutes

and hard of hearing.

Sometimes a door closes in front

of us, and sometimes behind.

The car alarms in the parking

lot are only a nuisance

and don't deter turtles from slowly

migrating across the blacktop.

The Green Lantern needed

a helicopter to keep up

with the other superheroes,

but we're still arriving late

to Annie rehearsals

with a forged doctor's note

written in a prescription-

shopping delirium,

because history is the same

as checking in with the disease.


I never knew this language

to stick to anything except

a mail carrier's can of mace.

It's not always insomnia

that makes it difficult to relax

when the heart feeds on itself

or you sleep naked next to me.

It's why I'm okay with this heat.

But I don't have nine lives—

maybe three at most,

and I've already used up two:

the first one went down

with the ship while clinging

to the captain's legs;

the second when you punched

a hole through the drywall.

Or maybe it was a carwash mishap

that simultaneously scrubbed

away the traces.

We filmed it all low budget

until we got distracted

by the flicker around the edge

of things and the stony silence

involved in letting them go.

Besides, any new rumors

can't be as bad as the ones

that already exist.

At least that's how it seems

in the midst of a food fight.

Somewhere in this apartment

are grains of beach sand—

the towels and plastic sunglasses

long since put away.

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Author Bio: Alan Gilbert is the author of two books of poetry, The Treatment of Monuments and Late in the Antenna Fields, as well as a collection of essays, articles, and reviews entitled Another Future: Poetry and Art in a Postmodern Twilight.