East River Seahorse 

East River Seahorse 

Diotima, the East River seahorse,
Pulled by the high tide along,
Rides in the magnet-like draw
of the moon
Across the Sound, and rounds the fork,
Passes the lighthouse
And drifts back to Brighton,
Coney Island,
Up through the Bay,
The East River (really a tidal strait)
To the Harlem River’s mouth
To talk with that river
About who knows what
And who doesn’t
That man they mention
Who had a spine
That, like his ribs
And the rest of his skeleton,
Was made of shit
Afforded him
tremendous flexibility
He’d flush himself down toilets
And wind up in any bathroom
In the city
But what did he do with this?
Spread a great, radical ease?
Help heal the seas? the sick?
Slip into banks
And transfer accounts? Fix
The books or slit
The throats of the rich
In their mattresses
For what they’ve done
And what they haven’t?
Flood all of the police stations
Disabling them
Because, don’t forget:
In the very near future
When the livable planet is wrecked
And people ask: who stopped you
From saving what was left
The answer, in many respects,
Is: the police
But no
He’s only been pilfering baubles
and gobbles endless pies,
and sighs all night about his plight
The seahorse’s head’s the size of a mare’s
And she stares at the river’s mouth
Which, as the current pulls her off,
Appears to shrink to the size of a dot
What did we expect?
He’s just like the rest, it babbles,
Inaudibly,
for now.

Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com and on twitter @elliot_sperber

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