go on us, canal by Claudine Mead

we took our crayon box

and went to town with you

painting you a poisoned peacock complexion

that doesn’t look so bad from above

when waxed with sunlight


marbled cerulean swirls

and seems to stretch

unveiling deep sapphire veins

azure tangos with the paler blues

to reveal streaks of

tiny tie-dye islands


but from up close, beside the patches of oily rainbows…


a brown bubble burps

without excusing itself

and dissolves into an uneven surface

slithering along slippery sewage

soon the sunset will singe this mosaic

of colors curdling in the light


fermented goldenrod recoils

from the stained ruby blotches flecked

with white while

hues of rusted carrot lazily dribble along

a fringe of spinach hued sediment


go on us, canal

we seem to be begging for it

i envision

an opaque lavender lake cocktail

served in a frosted martini glass

with a little square napkin underneath