fable

I’m drunk and lost in a hotel
made for animals. the elevator is
crammed with jaguars and eels:
on the third floor I get out,
pad down the carpeted corridor.
I put my ear to her door,
hear her showering with a sea turtle.
she pirouettes on its shell as she shampoos
her hair with an octopus.
in her bed, a tiger lays on its back,
smoking and daydreaming of
making love to the MGM lion.

it’s night and we are the only mammals
walking past water towers.
winter and spring and the moon
are all mixed into the air, like spices.
I ask her how heavy is that coral in your skull?
she sighs, and her sigh is a parakeet
that flies around her head
and back into her mouth.
when I try to kiss her below
numinous streetlamps,
the wing of an extinct bird
comes in between our lips
and I taste the air currents
that contoured its wings.

she scales the metal ladder of a water tower,
then jumps into dark water. I follow.
we can’t see inside the water,
but there are anemones, sharks,
a whale, goldfish, and lost, sinking
scuba masks. I find her,
or someone who feels like her,
and we embrace for so
long that one of us drowns
and the other turns into a fish.
at dawn, the water tower is
destroyed by a wrecking ball,
as was promised and predicted.