I am sitting in my stateroom
on a ship in the Caribbean Sea
watching old movies
courtesy of satellite TV.
From time to time I hear
the voices a few seconds after
the lips have moved—Nicole Kidman speaks
through the mouth of Tom Cruise.
Yesterday our ship passed
through the Panama Canal
as I read David McCulloch’s book
Path Between the Seas.
It was published in 1977.
The canal was completed in 1914,
and here I am, reading
and observing, near Easter 2008.
In my mind I hear
voices from a century past
recorded more than thirty years ago
while I viewed old concrete canal walls one day ago.
Now I struggle with movies out of sync
even as today I welcome yesterday
through the mind of a writer—possibly dead—
Need you and I orgasm at the same time?
—from Rattle #29, Summer 2008