in your father’s dream 
you play 
the moon

with the tender caresses
of an octopus in love

predicting the future
we comb the beach
for gold

what ill omens are read
in the plumes of a brushfire

covered in bird liver 
the bear becoming  
a diphthong

after the circus
Rustam returns
to his gilded cage

with the clowns
feeding seeds to your heart 

a paper ark sails 
down the drain 
out of existence

the ghost population's
scum ring

one fiat currency
to rule them all;
a moonless sky

Michael O'Brien
Clayton Beach