The Siren, by John William Waterhouse (c. 1900) Public domain

“I have learned to ignore at my/
peril what my sixth sense speaks.” Vargus Pike

“Go with your gut–”
he says,
rolling the tip of my finger
across the palm of his hand,
reminding me that there’s
a world of intuitive instincts
to consider–
if I only listen.
Listen. When the Dead of Night calls
out from dreams,
laying her heavy rain
over the city,
clogging gutters,
until they’re all dripping
into empty cornucopias,
Then I’ll listen.

The rooftops glide by and
I want to de-board this train,
I want this stop on the bridge
overlooking sadness and depravity and hope
and lust for tomorrow.
I want to climb these rooftops and
sit up there all day,
looking into the river bends,
watching the reflections change
as the sun moves
in its southern sky.

I know when he says
“Go with you gut,”
his words are meant
for encouragement,
not to guide
the imminent, complete or dismal
failure of underwater kisses–
Or the way I watched the
Willamette River Sirens
assisted by Dead of Night
drown our men one by one.
The rooftops were a spot,
too far away for saving.
These plans were rained out
bad mistakes.
(And I rode on my way–
despite what my gut told me).

 For Jeffrey, who endlessly inspires me to follow my intuition–thankfully it’s usually for the better. And for Pike’s October Song, from which I stole sirens and sixth senses.