Go Back to the World
Kids were picking up $100 bills strewn across the casino floor. People ran, some naked,
and from our balcony we saw fields in rolling flames, smelt the stench of burning flesh.
A bell rang but only soldiers came with their dogs and we hid behind the cellar door.
A man was preparing to scuba dive, poking in the mud to find where he could get through
the tree roots, holding a crocodile head. He put it on, went under, and some men held him
until he stopped thrashing.
I was in a pond up to my knees. I could see coins and small human bones but thought
I couldn't reach them. I saw my feet clearly even though I was wearing old leather shoes.
My feet were very white and fine-boned, preserved in the cold water.
At home where my mother died, I had avoided her room until the last day when I
happened to step inside. She was away. In the corner were ritualistic items – knives,
a rosary, a green bell and small stones. The room was vast and blue and luminous.
An old couple were sitting on a blanket outside a Mexican village. They had a bust of a
female head. A moon goddess – round, calm, exquisite. Inside the bust was an equally
beautiful male head. We asked the price and were amazed we could afford both.
I had to pass some bears on a trail, their fur ruffling red and gold. One growled. At the
top I felt the wind and knew I could fly. I couldn't in the past but this time knew I could.
I leaned into the current and soared above the valley. I had this power and it was possible.
Ken Massicotte is from Vancouver Island but currently lives in Berlin. He has published in several journals, including: Turk's Head Review; Glass: A Journal of Poetry; Wilderness House Literary Review; Gray Sparrow; Every Day Poems; Poetry Quarterly and Ginosko.