(Columbus Day) Charades

Streets recede as waves of, pulses, swells
right left straight back slack furls
bank and fork between buildings closed off
as crime from sunlight.
Liquid edges, and eddies endless,
sans ends where arabesque of route entails
tail merge with head,
flatten, surge, a breast stroke with wake at the outskirt,
troubling flouces.
I'm tired of leaving a beautiful boy
in bed each morning, not to fight as Hercules--
to work when I want to read
not seed the tide (marchers, revelers) waving sticks,
wreathing poles, being polled
when to panhandle out to the borders
of grailseeking starlight,
or on the order of mushrooms burgeoning
become a disciple of song
exposing myself to their kids like a book,
fraught as a new bird whom touch infects,
is the one thing I'd elect.

--Ange Mlinko (1999)