A detective and his client journey through the post-apocalypse, seeking what lies beyond the obvious sea. Here is part 1.
We walk for hours towards a hidden horizon
where the distant bivalves are silvery phantoms,
in the darkness.
My client has her axolotl armaments,
and I might be brave, but I’m myself—
a frightened woodland creature
seeking refuge from the restless night.
She makes a stop sign with her hand,
although it’s not hexagonal.
Over there a building stands.
We’ll rest until the daylight.
I’m awakened by a dream of death
to find that I’m alone
with packs of batteries, pegs,
and colorful party favors.
Further down the aisle,
where the shelves are penned and papered,
an old man’s writing explanations of his mistakes
in schoolboy repetitions.
The time has come for me
the detective I was meant to be.
In an aisle of gaudy bottles and boxes,
(my nomenclature, which may be accurate by coincidence)
is sorting all the product on the shelves,
arranging like with likeness,
disinfectants and detergents,
air fresheners and abrasives
scented with a hint of bleach.
A warning sign reads, Slippery, I’m afraid.
Next across, persons B and C
are combing, brushing, and spraying on
a range of promised miracles
or their money back.
The denizens of the pet food aisle
have no interest in chemical dreaming
or bacterial annihilation.
Cat D is snoozing, while cockatoos E to R
peck at packages of seed, the shelving,
and supporting structures.
Still further on, amongst the fizzy drinks,
I find homologous axolotls X and x
guzzling Fanta through straws with stripes.
My head is filled with clues.
It’s time to add a dash of logic
and stir continuously.
All of us are shipwreck survivors,
together and alone, the desolate
remainder of a division we never understood,
and in the parking lot, my client’s sea
is surging in a storm.
Her dream, her stolen fantasy,
was prescient, an omen
now become intransigent reality,
and beyond her sea, the bivalves
And yet I have some doubts.
What’s the role of the cockatoos,
the cat, and penguins S to W
whom I forgot to mention?
While I’m puzzling, I remember
that I heard my client calling out to me:
We have to get away from here.
But without an exclamation point,
I didn’t pay attention,
even though the axolotls
scurried off to join her.
That was quite some time ago,
and now a rushing sound disturbs
my mental merry-go-round.
Usually the obvious solution to any problem is incorrect, simply because it’s obvious. As new solutions come to light, they must be discarded as incorrect for the same reason. Generally the most absurd, nonsensical solution is the right one, but because it will never be obvious, it will never be found.
after sunfall (part above)