BROKEN FOOT EFFUSION
It’s good to be in company and accompany—
a line I transplanted and stole from myself.
Today I’m a pinball, but I use the word flamingo,
my one leg gleaming as I stand for something
resonant: beauty in the face as the sun cracks
up. Truly, I have used the word flamingo
maybe ninety-five hundred times in an attempt
to achieve some kind of devastating balance,
a life upon the rocks and in the awful pink sky.
There’s always the sky, and the pink is always
awful, though somehow not unpleasant
in a too sweet sort of argument—an argument
that waves with declarative exclamation: I will
stand here forever! I will never disappear!
Those rocks will be my warning and my anchor
on this planet. My friends rally round on my one foot
hopping, bring their own plastic versions that we stand on
the lawn—triumphant on the lawn, and we’re not
even drowning, because effusion, you can breathe it,
and it never stops glowing. Flamingo flamingo,
and my name is Matt. This is for the people who I love
and love me back: Melanie, Agnes, Evan Jane and
Brett, Nate and Gina, Russell and Merrill, Dobby and
Dean, Darcie, Eric and Tricia, Mary Anne and Mike,
Nick and Kirsten, Tony and Avril, Ken Kim and Gary,
Alexis and Morgan, Matthew Liz and Patti,
Samuel and John and John and now Clay,
now Paul, now stand up for Kiki, stand up
for Alex, for Michael and Marisha, for Jonathan
and Kate, Sarah and Sara, Mike Vallera Mike
Vallera and Will in Montana, Adam in Wisconsin, O
I’m standing on one leg, Jason California and Patrick,
who I’ve met only twice in my life and Micah
who I’ve never met, but love on the page, and Mary
and Todd, Terri and Steve, all the Blood Brothers
and Weird Sisters and the Daisy at my feet, Row
Row Row with free association to Gregory and
Guillaume, Neal and Margaret, Jasmine Dave and Drew,
Brooke Kelly Tabatha, Rian and Stuart, Addie and Mark,
Cesar and Roberto and the Everyman I forgot, the Every-
Woman, everybody stand up, everybody everybody,
I’m stupid with flamingoes, I’m stupid but lucky,
the awful pink sky and the rocks, notwithstanding.
I’m standing on one foot. I’m naming names.
I’m call and response. The list so endless
and amazing, it’s almost tragic. The distances,
the effusiveness. Don’t be embarrassed. I refuse
to be hurt. When you have people you love, it’s enough.