Shiny Happy People

Photograph by Jose Padua
Can I change the weather with these
words? A sunken ship regains its buoyancy
to sail the seas upon its blue-green waves.
We’re standing still on the ship because
our shoes do not slip on the slippery deck
that shines with a watery mist in the half sun,
half cloud sea light. Who would have
thought us seaworthy, who would have
seen us standing after all that falling down
on land, in buildings, on roads driving in cars?
We move from this sea to the next with
a sun dog’s winds, these brief bursts of air
shaped like a crowd of streetcars with names
like “Love Me” and “Take Me to the Real Show
Where the Animals Speak in Tongues Like
the Old Mystics” and “Finished, Ma.”
Down below there is happiness in the
gentle rocking of this ride on the sea;
no queasiness results from the purpose
of this motion, and no clowns are named
after colors in this refuge from the cruelties
of the real world. And the words they hear
are “Where’s the ice? Where are the tumblers,
Where are the ice cold drinks for these
drunken sailors, oh my great and glowing
loveliness?” And our hands are full with flowers
and everything in the world that shines.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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