Ideas for Life

i stop.

break the soft stem of the red flowers hanging over the toll road fence.

red looks good on grey.

i drink the juice that drips from the petals.

my hand grey from the dust around the stem.

i move on.

gondoks grow like gothic ruffles on the swamp.

children fish with thin bamboo rods and raffia lines.

couples sit on motorbikes and watch.

all the leaves are green.

the deep green of save the rainforest posters.

i look for a death metaphor.

the black trunks of the mangrove trees.

green moss.

yellow butterflies so pretty.

purple springs of ivy propping up ideas for life.

 

Nots

not the puddle of black water your dunlop volleys fall into, not

the cold wet between your toes for hours after you had forgotten it ever happened, not

the lime green shirt-tail popping out of her olive green pants (everything else was in its right place, even the gradation of black in her hair), not

the pink flowers of eczema on her arms—i tried to outthought them, but they stayed in my head for a little while, not

the pathetic white cotton towel tied around a broken pipe on the men’s urinal, not

the milisecond wait before the sloan automatic tap washed the dirt and sin off your hands, not

the conblocks everywhere under your feet, grey, white, black, the rare red in front of my office, on their surface more pamors than on a sendang sedayu, not

that anyone here would know what i mean by pamor, or sendang sedayu, unless you read him every week, not

the surprise moon over suburban rukos’ rooftops, the way it makes you feel good about being out there still at 9:31 pm on a damp tuesday night, not

the caterpillar of clouds that ran along an invisible branch off the trunk that propped up the moon. not

anything.