Volume 21, Number 2

All Right

I can take you to houses of housebreakers
and homes of homewreckers.
I can take you to the edge of the sea.
I can show you where to sleep under bridges
and tell you not to.
I know 28 ways to get warm,
but none work.
I can sing the first lines of songs
and hum what hasn't been heard yet.
I can show you a billion stars
and name three.
You can show me dancers
called Staci or Wanda or Michel.
You can take me to that little place you know
with good chili. And cornbread.
I can tell you how all of this looks
from over there. Or up there.
We can drink with abject objectionists
and stand out among insiders.
You can take me to Green Mountains
and Death Valleys.
You can show me
the red-rimmed eyes of believers,
show me where they've knelt
before high priests and loan officers.
We can dance in circles.
You can take me wading
in the deep end of the pool,
swimming in fresh dew on the lawns
of the desert and the deserted.
We can be quiet as Quakers
as we meet with madmen.
You can tell me everything,
or at least something, will be all right.
I can believe you.

That first line was borrowed, roughly, from Alexander McCall Smith.

—Ralph Murre