Saturday, February 4, 2012


Sarcasm is weighing down things
you say with quotation marks.

Like it’s something Other than you
tell me. A joke I don’t understand.


Of all the adjectives to use.
Have you considered hard-hearted?
I think it’s closer to what you mean.

My friend has a stiff neck. From stress.
It gives her headaches.
But I have restrictive cardiomyopathy
so she tries not to complain.


Sometimes I get bored
of being alive. That is
when I let my body
sink, holding my breath
and my head with invisible
hands deep down deep,
pretending to be sinking to hit
sand – something more real
than salt water and air –
but it is the sinking
itself I am after.
I enjoy the generous
hands of high pressure
crushing my ribs; I love
being in places not crafted with me
in mind, imagining my sudden appearance
among toothy fish waiting
frigid behind their lanterns in the dark
a victory of some fresh kind.

But always the moment
of sure defeat, death
like the slope of a vertical line,
sudden and simple,
bewilders my mind, which finds itself
trapped as if by my own hands under fathom
after fathom of pressing gloom.
You’d think I’d be used to it.
You’d think I’d say,
Try me.

I never do. And every time
it is your hands and your sad sigh
I forget in my sucking celebration
of air. I am alive. Which means:
In this boiling moment,
I do not care that I’ll die in this heat
or that I’m dog-tired
of swimming or that the sun burns
my poor pale shoulders or that
you saved me.