The Ideal Form

Armando Jaramillo Garcia

On the ice floe they pretended they were on a white sand beach
The trail guide had really screwed up
Earlier he had pinched a thistle and paid the consequences
Purple always the attraction
That leads to problems
It's not like she hadn't warned him
After some time together their voices had become
Part of the landscape they took for granted
We share the world with things
Like ants and snakes
Intersecting reluctantly but getting by
Though sometimes not
The ideal form is that of a vulture
Living on air currents
Gallant surveyor
And on the ground
Subsisting on the death of others
Always in abundance
As the seasons change
From too cold to too hot and vice versa
At these times the casualties pile up
That aging uncle with the smoker's cough
Who suddenly took up gardening on the hottest days
Your only friend from childhood
Who had abused himself for decades
Who had once seemed invincible
It took them by surprise but only briefly
That their demise was so
Outside the world of their concerns
Brutally being narrowed down
Their last known residence and the relatives
They'd been running from forgotten
All the while mending a lifetime of wounds
Shrapnel that couldn't be extracted
Symptomless infections that persisted below the surface
And violent encounters that were never spoken of again
They could seed and furnish parallel lives with these
It's a good thing one of them had packed an oar
And the other could navigate by her wits
Land was near but couldn't be seen