that august, when you left, it felt as though you took every source of earthly air. and all i could do was sputter and gasp and choke on my despair. and too **** often i still find myself mourning your absence in pantomime, whispering out midnight cries so no one else can hear how much i miss you.
your absence will be my death. my mind will not let me forget you. my heart will not let you go. i see your face as i lie alone— as i close my eyes this last time against the steady darkness of night...
He floats there near the bottom, Dragged and anchored like a ship To seabed by rusted fetters, Down where ***** shuffle a slow Ribbon dance, twirling black seaweeds And long grasses, Where they snap out a rhythm In solemn beatnik fashion to mournful Whale songs like low saxophone moans, And where the disapproving clucks Of dolphins’ tongues echo In quiet communal protest.
His body floats bloated in brine, Cheeks puffed like wet bread, Skin grey and shadowed blueblack, His face slack, Broad chest beaconed out of dark waters By dim pleated streams Of ocean light.
An elegy for those slaves thrown overboard during the Zong Massacre of the Middle Passage.
the word spreads itself across my tongue, thick and stiff as carcass flesh, bones locked, ligaments taut, as though tensed for the crushing tide of oblivion— the weight of nothingness instead of water.
my tongue is dense as earth, cold and steeley as a silver autopsy table, and the word lies supine, exposed upon my lips.
wring me out of everything— all the thoughts damp with mildew, old rotten mind, brain like brown ground beef, pale with dead blood and green with fuzz. wring me out. when you are finished, there may be nothing left— hardly anything left, but extract this mentality like sebum from a blemish on my cheek.