Walker gave me a copy of Richard Siken’s volume War of the Foxes for my birthday, so I’d been reading those poems before we went off for our long weekend without the kids. We flew from Columbus directly to Cancun, spent a few days at the beach and the pool, drinking tropical drinks, and then gathered our energies on the last day to visit Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik Kil.
I thought of the happiness of this poem:
I erased my legs and forgot to draw in the stilts.
It looks like I’m floating but I’m not floating.
Sometimes I draw you with fangs. I tell you these
things because I love you. Some people paint
with whiskey and call it social drinking. Some people
paint drunk and put dots of color everywhere.
In the morning the dots make them happy. I am
putting dots of color everywhere and you are sleeping.
Something has happened in the paint tonight and
it is worth keeping. It’s nothing like I thought it
would be and closer to what I meant. None of it is
real, darling. I say it to you. Maybe we will wake up
singing. Maybe we will wake up to the silence
of shoes at the foot of the bed not going anywhere.
I think that the experience of seeing big, gray iguanas and a gray and brown fox as we floated around in the pool will stay in our memory for a long time. We’ll remember the band that played one day out at the beach, a really good band playing mostly 70’s songs including “I shot the Sheriff, but I did not shot the deputy.” We’ll remember Marco, who drove us to Chichen Itza and back and told us about his family. I hope for a little while we can remember how hot the sun was, and how nice it is to wake up to “the silence/of shoes at the foot of the bed not going anywhere.” During the long Ohio winter, I hope to remember the color of what Marco told us is a “flamboyance tree,” flaming tropical orange blooms against green leaves.
Did you get to travel this summer? Where did you go?