They Will Sew the Blue Sail

Odd Beings on Sidewalks | Linh Dinh

Until yesterday, I hadn’t run into Dan

In a few years, so was surprised

To see his hair still black, his body

Still muscled, with only the slightest

Hint of a beer belly. “I was never much

Into drinking. I smoke weed after work.”

“Still, man, you look great! Look at me!”

“You know, I’m half Asian.”

“Well, I’m 100% Asian,

And I look like shit.”

Dan said his mom had just died, so

He had to hustle home to make a pot

Of chili to bring to his dad in Fogelsville.

His brother, Cyrus, was in jail again,

For, what else, dealing drugs. Dan

Used to be his brother’s partner until

He got an office job 25 years ago. Once

When he was really trashed, he told me

About killing some black guy with Cyrus,

But I never got to the bottom of it. Now,

Dan’s a good dad and husband, with two

Nice houses, one in Sea Isle, New Jersey.

White hair runs in my family. We’re all born

With white hair sprouting from our hearts,

And though we appear so ancient tumbling

From that tunnel, we stay immature

Until we’re laid out in that final box.

A shutterbug, Dan shoots pedestrians as he

Rides his bike to and from work, or as he walks

His shih tzu. “People are very odd animals.”

With bodies coming in waves, causing awe

And arousal, we raise machines to our faces.

Freakish being, come here. No less odd, I touch

Your head like I’m your dad, but I’m not your dad,

Since you’re my mom, but I don’t quite know that,

So in my confusion, I kiss your forehead, then

Your closed eyelids. Since we don’t know how

To do anything according to nature or nurture,

We lie perfectly still until the eyes are away.