Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Above Gasparilla

Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Above Gasparilla

Article excerpt

A sudden exuberance

loops

beyond Neuro's corner room

a flotilla of pleasure boats

out the west window, scattered like runes.

A glittering crowd along the sea wall

bursts into confetti pixels

as the floats move down the bay.

Transfixed, I'm glad

for the five floors between the revelry

and the family, glad no one else sees

more looping scenery

out the south window

green and purple beads,

red coolers disappearing

into the Southern mansions

across the bay.

The patient's in here

flat on a pallet

like a convertible

in a forties film, not moving,

still chrome-fixed and bright

her mouth drawn by a tube

into an odd thespian frown.

Death's downstage for a change.

At a certain point, everyone wants the view from a balcony,

to be spectators rather than revelers

elbows on railings, all day the same go-cup in hand,

masked but in no rush to go. …

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