I open the black metal box and among
the flyers, bank statements, bills
there’s a post card from my future
addressed to “the man who will be there.”
The letters are in a script I’ve never seen:
green ink, some red ink and the period
at the end in royal blue. I know
Ray Carver will be there when I arrive.
Redskins hat cocked jauntily back
on his wide head, can of diet coke
in his left hand. I’ll be high astride
a golden stallion just like Trigger
when he ran free with Bullet alongside,
Roy holding the thick reins loosely
in his right hand, no spurs, wearing
deeply polished tan boots with Native
totems carved into rich Mexican leather.
Charlie Musselwhite will be there on a low
riser, harp held firmly in his gnarled
hands; eyes downcast, he’s chasing a memory
of his own across the stage. The rich blues
he emits will become my boat ride to a familiar
beach. You know the one where we always
go in mid-July and sometimes August
with the narrow stream that grows wide
with the incoming tide; children straddle
boogie boards as the current flows
in and out of that racing channel cutting
a swath in the mile-long beach that holds
waves that never seem to end, waves
we ride like dolphins reaching for the sun.
Marc Swan lives on Munjoy Hill in Portland Maine. His work has been published in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, Slipstream, and Westerly, among others. Simple Distraction, a collection of his poems from 1989 to 2009, was published in fall 2009 by tall-lighthouse in London England.