The Donkey Connection

By Mario Suško

the mustiness of the wooden frame
floating slowly into my nostrils
on this humid thunder-stricken day.

within, a glassed-off man on a donkey,
his hand raised, calm and prophetic.
I’m roped off in the air-conditioned coffin.

my seat in my mind only, no image
to be mirrored on these disposable tissues.
I think my umbrella won’t protect me.

my uncle used to ride a donkey, stark
naked, a huge black umbrella hovering above
him to shield him from the mediterranean sun.

down the narrow dusty path he would
go to the end of the land, dip his feet
in the sea and mumble, no, can’t walk yet.

and back he went then following his donkey,
the black shadow like a jester dancing
before behind him, to paint in oil the man

that walked on water. he ended up
in jail, accused of being out of touch
with a new social order, then released

the very next day with a stack of papers
he had to have on him at all times
and sent to live in a big city inland.

don’t ever do what you don’t believe in,
he told me one day, gave me his papers
and rode his bike straight into a tram.

it’s the donkey I keep coming back to
while trying to find my way out,
my deluded finger already on the button

that opens my bonus gift umbrella. and
as I push my bike through the driving rain,
I wonder whether I am free enough to know

I too have entered the land of my undoing.

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