Miami Beach burns with the insatiable
ego of a galaxy, bright enough to refuse
admittance to any stars in the night sky.
I walk its neoned grid, past hotels
and restaurants, sidewalk cafés that pulse
with radioactivity like the lanes
of a pinball machine, or a Twilight Zone
town that’s stuck in Christmas time,
crowds made up of everyone
I’ve ever hated, talking too loudly
or stepping on my shoes, or both
as I trudge to a poetry reading.
Awful music spews into the street
and I think this is how whales must feel
about sonar, how it drives them
crazy enough to try to defy evolution
and crawl onto land, though not crazy
enough to beach themselves here.
To distract myself, I search for the motel
from Scarface, where Tony escapes
with the blood of his chainsawed friend
splattered all over him in a drop top
speeding down Ocean Drive.
Tony, dead facedown in his living
room fountain, like Gatsby
laid out poolside. What is it
with dreamers dying bloody
by the water? Crossing 13th
I’m almost run over by a Ferrari,
red as the stop sign it ignored.
I take solace in the fact that scientists
believe Miami will soon be swallowed
by the Atlantic like a child gulping
his vegetables whole so he won’t
have to taste them, and picture
the neon being extinguished, this stupid
Ferrari encrusted with shit-colored barnacles.
The idiot behind the wheel leans
into the horn, the blare masking
his curses and mixing with the nonsense
conversations floating up from the crowded
sidewalk, the garbage pop blitzing out
of café speakers, hostesses yelling out
drink specials in frenzied desperation—
but beneath all that, I hear another sound
that trembles from across the street: waves
pawing at the shore, the ocean mumbling
its desire for the day that it will drown out
all the lights and noise for good,
and let the stars return to this night sky,
O, let it be soon. Let it be soon.