The Wild Parrots of Malibu

When we would roam and fly the streets
Onward weaving freedom rides, gentrifying in the wild idyl
On foot on board on bicycle
Salt kiss breezes floating our flowing limbs, our gangly hair, ill-worn cloth and nylon
The Point Dume Bombers were active and alive!
Hey, dear valley, go home, we cried
Retreat with your refuse through oven-walled canyons to the unseen hinterland
Retreat!

When we would squawk and bark the repertoire
Limited, yes and at all hours, yes
Mythologizing the day’s frolic in the sea
Where we daydreamed among waves we called our own, origins unknown and unimagined
Calls of awesome, yar, outer, kook
Burning skin in quick glimpses seen
Wanting to linger across the more virgin skin
Unveiled by a quest for color or the blow of whitewash
That touch so far before us

What filled our minds but the imagined adventure and dark intrigue we gathered from the muffled drunken roars heard late in the night through poorly insulated walls of shoddy renown
Dead whales on the beach
Dead marriages everywhere fouling our neighborhood air
We’d witness TV stars at gasoline pumps, scratching desperate lotto cards
Witness that nothing is certain
No matter how high, how gleaming
Your newly-born platinum wall

When we were parrots we saw more than we understood
Intuiting lessons at the edge of a continent where the outcast and the privileged all lay claim to the intolerable beauty no one can ever let in, lest all pride dissolve back to Malibu dust
And back to Malibu sand
Madness conceived when land meets sea, when fire and water collide
As they everyday do in this thin long burg

When we were wild and knew nothing of the strangeness of death
Only the permanence of parents
Their frailty and conundrum

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