On the Way to Honolulu & Son of Crab, poems by Kirby Wright

      On the Way to Honolulu

      California is a dry thing,
      A brown fringe of continent
      Stretching north and south.

      It isn’t until I’m west
      Over deep blue
      That I feel free, untethered to

      Mortgages, cars, a salty marriage.
      Our wing is solid—it vibrates in the wind, Sticks its steel yardage

      Into the south of Heaven.
      A black mark
      Follows us in the water.

      A man with silver hair
      And blue teeth
      Strums a ukulele

      On a screen in the first class cabin.
      He smiles and I’m certain he is happy
      But he sings words

      I don’t understand.
      The minutes fly from me
      And dance.

    Son of Crab

    I am a sick man lying on a twin bed listening to rain. I have learned cold showers in a solar house inhabited by crabs. Father crab sits in a wheelchair clicking his remote. Mother crab devours mahimahi out of a doggie bag.

    I have the maid’s room. The maid left years ago.

    The crabs go to bed at midnight, him in his hospital bed with a view of the red ti garden, her in the king they once shared. They would claw one another when the salmon curtains were drawn. Now they scuttle through the house searching for water, entertainment, dead things to eat.

    Outside, rain floods the street. My skin hardens as I write.

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Gary Lehmann