There were Turtles
turtles everywhere, for months they followed (or perhaps I them) the last the lamp in Iowa the pale glow from its shell ghosting the granite counter top the Jamaican ginger ale as I fled the stone in my chest headed back east to the mosaic at Houston and Varick the station wall a window into a submerged Manhattan the tunnels an aquarium cast in blue and green tiles. And the week before that a one man hand-propelled eight foot long replica a Revolutionary War submersible known as The Turtle found off the East River. Go further back, back to the turtles two men received as a wedding gift in May and later that same month the four Turtle Towers in Ocho Rios the shells in the water trough outside the tower office and our joke a tower for each Teenage Mutant Ninja who weeks before danced in Times Square. It was April when it began when I took you through the brambles through the ramble to the castle to climb its narrow stairs sit upon its ramparts. There were turtles in the pond below on the rocks on the logs we watched them surface murk risen plates that broke into humped shapes and so for months I've kept a turtle watch new totem in this shift and give but the one I think on often was from the day the woman sucked her teeth as we passed caught a snatch of batty- as we wandered through the crafts in search of an exit the steel haloed father who leapt from a stool his mahogany turtle's red glass eye on fire its shell caramel molasses carapace. That was the day I laughed at the box the cartoon turtle and his bubble “take it slow” wrapped the used Durex in toilet paper to mask it in the trash in case any knew remembered two men rented the room and I think of that wood turtle what would have happened had I bought it brought it back to this northern island. Would I still see turtles in all the places I never look. Would it stop the sightings. Would I see them and not care fertile in this language of hurt or dare.