Random Poem

World Town

Shane Book

Entirely windless, today’s sea; of these waters’ many names

the best seemed “field-of-pearl-leaves,” for it smelled like the air

in the house he built entirely of doors: pink school door,

gold of the burnt hotel, two old church blues, the abandoned

bank’s steel doors singular and immovably wedged over

the family’s heads though as with everything corroding

the sense of themselves slipping away in the heat,

falling through the day’s brightness the way soldiers

once fell upon him walking home with a bucket of natural

water as he had been recalling the town square

before the tannery’s closing: he and his father shopping

on horseback in the noon Praça where they first saw

a man crouched under a black shroud, what his father called

a camera. His father forgot the incident immediately, but

for years the man asked whomever if they remembered

a camera, vegetable stalls, the butcher holding the cleaver,

a horseshoeing shop, purple berries, the long cassava valley haze,

fishnets, a few crab baskets and browning nets

drying by the ice cream shop, seven taverns,

a small, unused ferry terminal, a map on its wall outlining

the island in blue, the names Good Dispatch, Lover’s Bridge

pointed to by a mermaid of skin whiter than anyone

on the island of Angola’s descendants, her red hair.