Death Fall

It comes in waves

like inhaling nitrous

through a yellow balloon.

Waves of letting go.

Body disintegrates,

consciousness blackens

before pure white light.

In the waves, fish eye

flops along and gills

expand; in my mouth

a hook fast and frivolous

pulls me into that realm

too bright, where I often

linger at the teeter,

tottering edge where water

meets air.

Now, I panic, flip

and flee backward,

try to reach the safe

dark cold, rub barbs

against coral

until my blood floods

and crimson waves

make their way to land.

Here I am

somewhere between be

and not anyone at all.

Not even my scales

define me now,

as I slip, slither,

slide into the great

what the fuck!


I am here now

still swimming,

not yet filleted

and served on a plate

with garlic and lemon and time.

Not yet fish skull

whitened on the sand,

gleaned by crab

and gull, shimmering eyes

long ago digested

and shat upon a distant curve of sky

that might know something

about the I that fell one day into

I am gone and never coming back.

At least not like this

with wrinkled old man fingers

at the end of long slender woman forearms,

fingers designed for work,

for molded tools and well dug earth,

for slashed etches into stone

little by little, letter by letter.

A name, a name, a hook

a curved knife,

a frying pan.

Golden plates on the table,

smiling god lips greasy with me.

A name.

Two fish swim in the sea

one above, one below.

One reaches for the light,

one for the abyss.

Parallel and plied,

dancing the infinite

figure this.

Crimson waves reach.

Skeleton toes creak, crack

crackle over stones.

Then silence.