What Happened in the Branches
I stopped being someone for a while.
If I told you I crawled back in the skin,
suckled the ingrown tit because a drowning
mouth cannot speak — just latch. desire.
swallow — would you turn away from where I
swaddled in skunk fur?
I wouldn’t mind the company. Then there’d be two
of us to wait, feasting and sky-burrowed, knee to
forehead, forehead to knee
tuneless pinwheels growing
bellies for the end
of the world.
Dream of Seals, Circling
Kaeley and I walk to the boundary. It is a window. An edge.
I have been to this place before.
“Look,” I say, and point. Excitement blooms for the life and motion she is
about to see.
Large shapes move into sight and hover directly before us. The seals are
bloated and still. Rot-darkened flesh hangs from glimmers of bone; their
eyes, swollen like canned plums about to burst, stare past us.
This isn’t how it was supposed to be. Still, I know what to say.
“Don’t worry,” I tell Kaeley. “It’s just the end of a cycle.”
The dead seals drift away. We wait.
The horizon tilts when they come back up from below, their bodies curves
of shining blubber. They arrow upwards and branch and vine, speaking a
A large seal almost grazes my face, passing me in a blur of whiskers and
gray spots. They know we are watching, and delight in it. They are showing
us how to do something.
Laughing, my body leaves my body.
My sick body holds space for my swimming body.
Without moving, I swim through sheets and waves.