a man to his wife on the beach, June 2010
I was asked to feed the fish
while the family was away.
There were two knobs,
one for heat, one for light.
By morning, they were floating on the top,
a rich decay of body
open mouths, gills flared.
The dark is bigger than we think,
a slow crawl of sticky hair in the drain,
bad dreams, lint, dirt from under
the refrigerator or our fingernails,
and the impotence of a fist in the jar.
When all the fish are dead, we’ll cross
a garden of flesh to land,
smoke Cuban cigars, and watch the stars
bleed into the sea.
The government will send up flares
which will look like fireworks.
I’ll perfect smoke circles
while you tongue the tip
and we’ll make love under a blacklit sky.
Terror to terror, we’ll stare
into the gaping mouth
of a god we’ve made from the dark
while the real one lingers out of reach but near,
the heat of his breath warming the earth.
After a while, we won’t even notice the smell of rot.
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Photo by Patrik Nygren /Flickr