Over Easy, Please
I’d like my next life over easy and centered, please.
Not sunny-side up, too runny and rheumy with happiness;
Not scrambled, so mixed up even a therapist could not help;
Not soft-boiled, hard-boiled, souffléd, or poached, if you would.
I’ve had enough of these breakfast banalities and fiascos.
I’m ready for my personalities to be seared, not burned, and
Sealed on both sides to retain the real me inside so I don’t run,
If you’re willing to handle me with care when my life flips or flops.
There is something very soothing in the scene of wild burros
Grazing unfenced in sun burnt grasses along Reche Canyon Road.
I look for them as I pass to and back from work and smile
When I spot them, grays and tans and shaggy browns, camouflaged
Grazing among sere brush or lazing beneath stunted olive,
Scrub oak, and manzanita. I’m disappointed when I don’t see them
If they’re feeding elsewhere or it’s late and dark or I’m looking
In the wrong direction, though I slow down, look back over both shoulders.
What is it about this small, wild herd of burros that is so pleasing?
Is it the incongruity that they still exist, ranging free near suburban sprawl?
Is it perhaps my desire to taste the wild as I turn repetitiously
Home to return to work, towards or away from tameness and sameness?
Reche Canyon Road is marked with the bullet riddled, faded yellow,
Diamond warning signs of the Department of Transportation, “Burro Xing,”
As if the burros have the right of way. I hope they do. And then,
Appended as an afterthought, “Next 2 Miles,” as if in acknowledging that
These burros won’t be channeled into crosswalks. Although I’ve
Never seen them actually cross the road, I know they must, for I have
Spotted the same group, at least I think them the same thirteen,
On both sides of the Canyon and even over the local rock strewn hill on the
Moreno Valley side, along the extension of Pigeon Pass Road.
This is a wild herd, replete with adolescents and one youngster currently.
When people approach too closely, the group moves off in a stately
Manner ordered and arranged by some internal hierarchy I’m too tame to detect.
Like Henry Thoreau, I too “Love the wild not less than the good.”
The burros are both wild and good. I want to touch them and smell them,
Even figuratively taste of their rankness. I am unsatisfied with my
Lmited sight and sound of them. I want to experience the whole phenomena,
Their wild burro-ness. I continue to look for the burros on Reche Canyon,
Smiling when I see them, reveling in wildness, envying their freedom.
Slab-sided ship of chrome slinking up my childhood path
At break of mourning’s dawn, mooring there, incurs my wrath
By crushing seaside graves of friends who, by receding tide
Of summer, died and vanished, buried under sea of weathered hide.
These glad-clad stewards milling round their hulk, reload the scenes
Debarked throughout my summer to be lost as priestly genes
Are lost — ejaculated — not in a worldly, fleshy vessel,
But down commodes, are flushed and left with fate to wrestle.
Now steers the sated ship of chrome, lighted down the path at night
Within its bowels divorce’s castaways are packed in spite.
Between my tears I glance to see a name and in child-dreams to ends
Of earth this whale I’ll pursue –
SANITATION, CESSPOOLS CLEANSED –
SIDNEY’S MOVING & STORAGE, SEASIDE, CALIFORNIA