Ten More on Sandstone Tablets
I shall love Tallulah, Louisiana for the tongue
And palate of it and offer no further excuse.
I shall live on the outskirts and marvel
At the population of unpeopled kingdoms.
I shall not root around and toggle brain lobes
Or tweak heart valves because I cannot.
I shall not sing tenor when baritone will do
For the simple songs of nature and thoughts.
I shall only struggle with nightmares, not waking life—
For the sake of my spirit, for the sake of mind.
I shall stop and smell the sewage, too,
Otherwise the rose is just a rose that’s just a rose.
I shall not laugh too hard or cry too hard
When buzzards swoop to tug at mincemeat raccoons.
I shall not stuff my wallet full of condoms,
Business cards, bank plastic, or photographs.
I shall shall—headlong, shoulder strong, into the gut
Of Atlas and learn my lessons whiplashed.
I shall not shall not—except in these things,
Unless Tallulah turns to Vicksburg with tooth and lip.