to its other half), a philosophy of wilting blubber?
You did not know you were looking for me. Black-
night flies crawling on me (swarming was your word)
which hop slightly with a breeze, and pause and lift
from eating my flesh, my iris. This is the sound
of rusted night. How many of the living have you
ignored, those who cross your shadow? You walk
this beach, casual across my grave. I will become
bones soon enough. I will offer them to this gravel
world even with you watching: this red skin, rotting
curve, stinking tail without gender, this sunken eye.
I’ve decided to lie my way to happiness. Like I once did, awake into the night working through images of the to-be older self wearing dark sweaters, riding a black bicycle, and crossing a brick campus—busy and purposeful. That man full of the star’s ache. That boy full of child-projections, I saw myself so clearly now, that age actually, I’m a complete blur—an afterimage of sun shaking across retinas. I tick my way through these memories as an end-of-day answering machine inbox. Sip by sip I drink the bitter green tea. I say, “no one damaged you, see, there is the evening sun,” because it does not matter the world is sad, but that it comes to sadness through those small cones falling into grass and through the brittle leaves lifting in an abstract play of wind scurrying across the road. My theories are as long ignored as Levin’s between marriage proposals staring at land and sky. The world brings itself in the possum living beneath the deck, who I imagine myself kicking one night in a shudder of fear. I’ve seen my lightning struck tree. I know what not to imagine, know the call and the question are both empty. The terns hurried shrieking scythes through the evening air when quiet means, actually means, that though I cannot see it, or always smell it, I live near the sea.
Below the bridge is a mid-sized sperm whale, a mother wandered up the Klamath with her calf by some instinct for the unknown towards a rush of cold water or shackle of green watery light; now she circles back and around again under the crowd taking pictures, her breaths bursting at intervals made regular by the mind and she will not leave, even as her skin tears in need of salt, even as her calf, loyal only to the railing of good sense, breaches the mouth of the river and back—further and further each day, even when she cannot hear his song, faint—then fainter— even if she believes it is him in the current’s echo of her own voice.