Invitation To a Poet

by Aliki Barnstone

From flat Midwest, over the Rocky Mountains, on this fine evening,
please come flying.
In a could spun on moonrays and rare humid gases,
to the trumpeting of a million horns on the freeway,
descending from the turtle shell of sky,
emerging from the cathedral of mountains,
please come flying.

The eye of the black glass pyramid watches for your landing
when all the slots will hit the jackpot
and the dealers hand out a royal flush. All the bells
of the wedding chapels will chime out your name.
The invented world is lit up for you. The fountains
of Lake Como dance in greeting. The Eiffel Tower
shares its panorama with your eyes. It’s safe to come.
The atmosphere is healthy for the heart and lungs.
The jetstreams of a hundred planes are shaping letters.
Please come flying.

Come with the pockets of your leather jacket filled
with little lightning bolts and poems,
your shoes filled with the red sand of the Valley of Fire,
the verbs of the long journey chanting from their bending soles.
With visions playing on the lenses of your eyeglasses.
all the ghosts of your ancestors electrifying
the follicles of your hair, riding the back of the winged blue horse,
whose shoes trail alphabets through the air,
please come flying.

Bearing a necklace of angry stars, filling the sleeves
of Pablo Neruda’s suit, driving a chariot pulled by scorpions,
with words of salt and sweat burning on your tongue,
please come flying.

Hotels and schemes blaze in the desert sands; Las Vegas is a mirage
in dry heat and accepts every pleasure this fine evening,
so please come flying.

Mounting the fleshy breastbone of the canyon with a natural magnetism
beyond the road rage, crashes, wounded cars and emergency lights,
the billboard whores and flame-breathing magicians,
the metastasizing subdivisions, sprinkler systems and the rows
of haughty palms in shopping mall parking lots,
while the jets and traffic whir in your translating ear
that at once hears a duet of the rattler and coyote,
please come flying.

A lizard will listen to your lines from the garden wall
and wink at you with her third eye.
With their green sleeves filled with creosote wind,
the arms of the cottonwoods will welcome you as kin.
For whom the starburst, the foot, and the deer scraped into red rock
confide their story, the haunted adobes reveal imperceptible signs,
please come flying.

We can string out tears across the room. We can drive fast
eluding all radar or play a game of dangerous communions
with an uncanny set of synchronous pasts
or we can thumb our noses at jealous gods, but please
please come flying.

Come like a ray of dark darkening the night sky,
come like a midnight sunrise,
with words lifting off the runway in the heat of your arrival,
from the flat Midwest, over the Rocky Mountains, on this fine evening,
please come flying.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap