The Drowning Man


shark charging
I thought you might dissolve after a hundred
days, but you are still where lilies and sky touch,
and I close my eyes, lose four months in your hair.
Dreams are not kind, but more honest than memories.
Then the dawn reminds me of you, too, because
all of the stars have gone away. My clothes
don’t fit, and the shores are blindingly far.
I hold my breath and count: three million, three
million and one. With mouse eyes, the fish watch,
praying I’ll lose track and renew in a burst
of smoke bubbles, polished fins, steel gills,
and, wearing rusted hooks as facial piercings,
rage against the world of lungs, my kite strings
tracing the sea’s surface like fingertips.
Seltzer Magazine (2012)