Ghost of A Gecko


I could not bring you roses because

the wind stole their scent. I could not

bring you seashells, there were mollusks

and hermits still in them.

I could not bring you a bouquet of stars;

though I leapt from my roof, they were

still too far. I could not show you the sand

palace I built, the tide came eagerly in.

I could not bring you a gecko, to eat

the mosquitoes that attack your skin.

The gecko was trapped beneath my blanket

and my knee accidentally crushed him.

I was so sad, I built a little ship out

of drift-wood, gave him a funeral on

last night’s ocean. I had no sail,

my love, so I had to use this poem.

The wind carried it away,

along with the scent of your roses,

across the sleeping mollusks in your

seashells, past your demolished sand

palace, where the ghost of the gecko

dances, between walls the sea

swept away.

And now, I have only this story,

which I’m certain you’ll never believe,

how I ended up here, love, with nothing

but a few grains of sand on my feet.
Wolff Bowden, From “Heavyweight Champion of The Night”