When I was young I loved my bath toys and friendly water.
I sprung a plastic shark from soap to green boat to water.
Compute and find the density of fear in human souls;
locate and lift a metal bird sunk deep inside the water.
Breast-stroking, the collider-rollicking particle, eyes
alert; the hungry scientist alone, sipping slowly water.
Who else can hear the monster in my wine-dark soul? It is
barely breathing. I grope as for jewelry, keys, lost underwater.
What shape is this? Small fish, your eye, imprint of snowshoe,
pressed again into a league of white mounded water.
My nephew, nearly three, plays in the sea and asks Big Dog,
stuffed beast, Clifford, to join him (please?) in the water.
Women who did not weep inside their torture, circa 1500,
burnt/drowned/hanged. Witch: a drop of ink in vast clear waters.
The monster as child. Playful damnation, guile, confusion. I am
sounding and wading. There is something living, underneath the water.
On bright sand of the island’s beaches, the Sirens dig holes
and jump into them. They mock the sailors flung into water.
There. I have seen it, breast-stroking in my animal brain,
paddling furiously then gone quiet, still again, treading water.
My favorite letter! It is an aggressive little thing, pushing
against its own razorblade desires like a bullet butchers water.
The wide petals of mad Maserati-red tulips grinning
from the jar, stems maniacally green, gulping gulping water.
It evades speech. I have lost volition in the couch cushions.
There are days I cannot leave the house. I sleep like water.
Something pale darting across the road – half seen, wholly
frightened, hair white and rising like steam from boiling water.
Every day, lips of gentle strangers wrestle with my strange
name. I launch an explanation like a ship into the waters.