HEY, KID

Next time I say letís go someplace like Bolivia,
letís go someplace like Bolivia.
I need a friend to give it to me straight.
I will offer you my best cartwheel
and say here is my brain! Please do an experiment!
Forget any lines of demarcation.
We are twin vessels,
relearning behavior from our shadows.
They tie us to them.

*

The futureís all yours, you lousy bicycle.
I saw a little boy using his plastic sled in the grass
And I said child, I love you,
but I said it to the universe. 
I remember that feeling of running downhill
and waiting for someone to catch me,
moving my feet so quickly, like I had wheels,
like a runaway pram,
thinking, this is what growing up is.

*

He has to ask us to stay, and then we can go.
He has to tell us all his dreams
and we have to forget those, too.
He has a whole collection of dreams.
Is it a head-full or a heart-fulló
what do you call yours?
What do you call me when youíre asleep?

*

In my opinion there are snakes in the jungle.
And my opinion should mean something!
Snakeís skins are like uncooked corn cobs.
In my dreams, snakes fall out of me
into the toilet. They crawl
in my pants or try, systematically,
to break into my home. 
Everything is an intelligent snake,
or could become one without notice.
I start to think of myself only as non-snake.
My mother snake, my kitten snake,
every snake-color paints everything else.
Hello, ex-boyfriends,
you are snakes (how obvious!)
so much so, I feel like saying
snakes are you.

*

Now, youíre going to have to bring your own horses.
I hope that isnít a deal-breaker, because I like you.

*

No swimming! Itís not important!
Letís keep our to-do lists as separate
as our bank accounts.
No matter what you value,
I am making a genie costume.
Everyone has priorities.
You remind me we arenít married
and I say thank god,
but I mean something like
donít you think I know that.
When I picture myself in my head
I am a dopey cartoon elephant
moments after the curtain has closed
on the dopey elephant ballet.
If I had to name this feeling it would be
ďswimming with my boots on.Ē

*

We get older. Thatís the law.
I cut my hand open on a tin can.
These days I clot like a sugar maple.

*

Donít tell me how to rob a bank.
I know how to rob a bank.
Also, donít tell me about the large white goat.
Just help me eat it, because I canít do that alone.
Thatís all partner meansóthere are some
actions in this world meant for two.

*

I could never give you cover. 
You could cover me.

________________________________________

Caroline Cabrera is the author of Flood Bloom (H_NGM_N B__KS) and the chapbook Dear Sensitive Beard (dancing girl press).  Her poems have most recently appeared in Bateau, Conduit, and The Denver Quarterly.  Caroline is chapbook editor at Slope Editions.  She currently lives in South Florida.