It was frantic season,
everyone trying to find an uninterrupted shining place.
She heard screaming when she woke.
After one million marsh letters,
peat drawings dripping with green slime and mire
in her mailslot, here he was on her doorstep,
unripe in morning light,
A brisant presence, something either spot on or
completely off, based on the amount of glass
that wound up in your pocket.
His arms gingerly outstretched like a drunk magician,
she was happy to see him. She took him
to all their favorite places, the tea house down the street,
he always liked their little sandwiches,
dry ciabatta on his webbed tongue.
He ordered an earthquake to counteract his shaking
and she fanned his hand away when he tried
to pay with a few yellow teeth.
Just like the first time she found him, buying Walden
from a street vendor, trying his best to use wet lilacs
as currency, then with a red slab of meat.
Back then they'd gather glass bottles to break
in the unfed swimming pool and he'd tell her tales
of being stranded by calamity and what seawater felt like
filling up a hollow spine.
She began looking at holes differently.
She had dated a siren, a sea monster, one ghost with
a pantie fetish, but this, this one was different,
a drenched avalanche.
But apart from his tender swamp letters,
now, he only came over to sleep.
She'd bring him to the blow-up plastic kiddie pool
on the roof of her apartment, and by morning
he'd be ready, all misty and budding.
She'd palm him a note that read, PLEASE COME BACK
UNLESS YOU CAN'T. He'd nod and clods would shake
out of his turf. His face all grassy and lush,
his wake, a trail of bog and sea moss,
as he slicked away, ruddy and blooming.