COCKROACH AS BALBOA
In the light of night, validated, he stands triumphant,
soaking up azure with sailor eyes,
(as though still scanning thin blue ink horizons
for land signs, breathing salt under merciless suns)
feet widely planted on the shimmering slope,
lean chest out-thrust,
sinewy shoulders braced,
belt cinched against the threat of starvation,
willing to eat anything,
smaller, more vulnerable than relatives left
behind in the sultry metropolis on the other side of the world.
The new-found surf beats furiously up the cliffs.
Spray almost wets his dark, parched face.
In a revealing flash the Heavens open; night is gone.
He is naked. In his remaining fraction
he relives gains, losses, regrets.
Author’s Comment: One night I clicked on the bathroom light, and perched on an upgrade slope of a white facial tissue was one of the more elegantly shaped cockroaches, strikingly proud in its stance, overlooking the wash basin. Although I squashed him, I could not forget him.