Summer/Palm Beach, FL

Summer nights in Palm Beach
you can almost wear
the heat around your neck
on a multi-colored lanyard
smell the night air drifting up from the
Boca ghetto 20 miles to the south
watch the bejeweled sky light up
like the gems in the shops on Worth Avenue
expect everything – you can afford it can’t you?
don’t drink the water
was it worth the hangover?
was it worth the Jacques Selosse?
that you’d ordered – spilled
for that special occasion
Don’t ask the waiter who couldn’t wait
to steal your Lana Marks bag,
don’t count on him,
he’s a traitor who’s fled West.

Keep up appearances
and don’t forget the dogs,
you’ll need them to keep you company
at the Breakers
after the politicians have left the room.

talk the talk and enjoy the ride.

It ends in West Palm at the dog track.
It ends in a seedy poker room
with half a dozen guys smoking cigars
and talking legalized pot.
It ends in a sunset you will never see.

points west

Some days,

I miss the hinterlands

some days

when the inland rains

don’t let up

and the gators

have snapped at the

last golfer on the course

in West Palm Beach

and the biggest python snake

in the world has been captured

in Kendall —

swimming in the pool

of a famous – but now

disgraced athlete

and the most informed

newscaster in the nation

has rushed to

Miami Beach

to report on the latest

scandal involving

some pseudo-politician

…it is then

…(and only then)

that I long for the plain pine bench

in the birch grove

on the shore of

some Lake Woe-be-gone

six miles southwest of Hibbing

…the one we used to sit on

when we were both nineteen years old

and we would both look west

far past Fargo, and Bismark,

…not stopping there…

on past Missoula and Couer d’ Alene

raising a toast to the setting sun

believing that it held the answer

to a tough question

that neither of us dared to ask

both of us thinking that if we

could just

watch it drop below

the horizon

on Venice Beach –

– just one single time

that our lives would change