Morning drapes over our eyes like little hands—
surprise, look—& this where the story
wakes. You are a lit-up house.
The light through the window is gauze
dressing a wound. I know
I am unhinged, like a door fallen down.
The seconds splinter. I shake like sea foam,
the bees in my sea-cave wish to escape.
This is the story that funnels into itself,
its beginning crushed by the weight of its end.
This is the story of water. This is the story with its eyes
closed, a burnt map. I let any pain take me
the way the sea takes a body, hide in the place
where every voice is water, illegible
& unheard. When you call me
I do not swim up far enough to hear you.
When you touch me, it is as if underwater,
the way seaweed tangles in the undercurrents.
This is the story with a drowned body.
This is the story with an unsent letter.
I dream I am alone on a ship.
It is night and I can see the magnetic field
radiating through each object like water through leaves.
Each star above pulls on the body.
The body is a magnet for the dark.
The bones of each thing underwater turn
diaphanous with concaved light,
a dense black substance stretched between them.
Each body is a radiograph. The sky
is a radiograph. Then I think
to touch the bones of my face. They feel like water.
From my vessel, through my telescope,
I can see your body standing
incurvate on a far continent,
& between us stretches the most terrifying
darkness, as if to reach you I must die.
This is the story with a shipwrecked body.
This is the story with a gangrenous throat.
This is the story that refuses to end
because we are the hollow
only longing can fill with more of itself.
This story pulls the entrails
of stars from each retina, reverses
the clock in the mouth
until it sings backwards.
This story is the moonlight
brightening the bedroom
through the slit
in the ventricular curtain.
It will not let us sleep.