Jesse Schweppe
POEMS
 

Nicoya



I come to a place for passport things,
please dissipate, step into verdant craters

lit by squalid morning. Echo our notions
from frond to divining thread, the quetzal tail,

and already we forget our arrival,
a wind ebullience pinning us to the pavilion.

Siblings run separately, Isobar Blood
drinks his coffee by an ocherous rock, says

"This country's got three billboards, ungulate
syringes at each stoplight, rosary beads

in the gutter. See the earnest color? Papal blush.
The tin shacks don't reek of displacement

unlike the steel tower I piss in. Unblinkable faces.
Bad skin. Nails are machete pared.

I do not care if we see the volcano, or hat
of revolution. I'm for the water-brim."

Treading a surf nursery, he grabs at a cold
cyclone, as a Hellespontine ankle bone

tumbles against a conch on the mottled floor.
The sibling wakes inside a wrinkle, flooded

figurehead, his vapor hand in littoral tremble.
He's tired of pulling levers, routine fatigue.
...

I can't imagine where poison frogs go.
It is worth asking someone, if you don't ask

you miss the young toucans who steal
their beaks from a heliconia. Faintly, zodiacal

light drops a curtain on oceanic tankers,
as we walk the road to a palm town at night.

Our stem ancestors have withered, their fruit
empire was a frantic embarrassment. Like them,

you will not be able to differentiate death
from smiles in the beer garden, if you

forget to ask. Tyrants may flog the shallows,
a reptile hiss that spills up the path, but siblings

try a hand in the water's gut, a perfect strait
if you are not afraid to drown, drawn up

as dead weight on a pulley.

   
   
   

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