Howard Hughes

It hurts in ways I cannot explain

a broken body imprisoning a healthy mind

I have my papers confirming American citizenship

but I am late for the ceremony

out there on that last island off of Florida

I can fly away there

at 400 miles per hour

in a steel cage

like an autoclave killing germs

rushing across acres of ocean

accelerating my heart-rate

following the map painted by arterial blood

and crushed lymph-nodes

Oh God it hurts in ways I cannot explain

I can only see avenues of concrete

and the little signposts that tell me

that my world is covered with crawling things

only slender bodies with angel wings

can protect me from the source of infection

angels with red lipstick

and soft curves with hidden folds

safe harbors my float-plane can dock in

Can you feel that breeze?

My passport is in my breast pocket

I am an American, you can quote me on that.

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