float, 5 minutes

soak your body in salt
to reverse its course:

while you are dreaming
does time flow fast or flow slow;

can you decipher your currents
from the ocean’s own;

I’m wavelengths away
~~~barely~~~
a profession muffled
an underwater echo;

if you succumb to the depths,
do you think you could hear me?

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VV

when the well runs dry, I hope you think of me
as the water that shivvered away
when you denied thirst

a freeflowing mass that goes wherevver needs filling
to whomevver needs filling
they call to me as deserts and plains
mouths open like tributaries
confessions prolonged and I’vve got to hear them
sixty-percent buoyant, forty-percent mystery
the neck is a bridge over a rivver to the body of an ocean
we swim within ourselvves
and just as much in others

when you forget me,
I hope you remember me as the perpetual force
winding mill of revvelations
the vvolume displaced
when you no longer needed water
to survvivve

the nautical mile

to the man named after a river:
I am the woman raised by an ocean
waves that lure you in with erratic crests and troughs
measured by the moon’s metronome
and toss you out once you trust your own buoyancy
you bleed in the salt
you are both the infliction and the injury
you want to leave; in swimming here,
you make the difficult choice, to explore
the unexplored, to disprove the nautical mile

beware, he who is named after a river:
my sea swallows your kind whole
bodies who lost their mother at birth
vaporized in the middle of death valley
where the distance kills you
if the mirages don’t drive you insane first;
eventually, you’ll dissolve into me
I’ll meet you at the basin, wide-mouthed
with wanting
the chase that never ends, the sun as it stalks
each horizon, to pounce illumination

you’ll wonder why you chose to run south
upon learning of modern misconception that rivers
tend not to flow north
maybe then, you never would have met with an ocean
then, you could drink the world end to end
unknowing of your smallness

moonflower, sunflower

I cried with the weeping that blew out my hair

I smiled with the pouring that gave the running water goosebumps

I was the tide that makes rivers climb with violence and cower back from truth, too

the streams are not so small,
they trickle uncharted, unnamed
and when one dries, there’s one less filling up the ocean

the sun, she bestows revival
that abrasive-clean baptism, overwrought leather skin, spotless whitewashed mind

she fixates on your flaws and obliviates the dirt in you

she lets you feel that you are sometimes everything
and at the same time nothing without her

while our moon blooms and wilts, a beautiful poisonous flourish of tricks

he looks out for the dreamers, the hopeful fools they are, when he’s up for it

’cause there’d be no paintings or classics without them,
and someone has to remind us of what we so often aren’t

— a silver plate, a crescent birthmark on newborn skin,
a single light as guide through the woods

and sometimes limitless skies so close, you can feel their currents strumming on your brain

and sometimes so terrifying, as scaling shapeshifter cliffs in the dark

whatever it is, I reach for the gourd and drink with an impossible thirst
to be more like waves and rain
and less like a swimmer within

buddha said it first

every 24 hours,
there is that last stretch of sunlight
the last great expanse
that last lick of day

it is there,
but it is never enough —

and that is the problem:
we
underestimate
the fluidity of time,
in its best times flowing rigorously
and in its worst frozen in passing.