fathoms

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Build me an underwater boat a crew

of two might handle. I’ll be your gray god

 

among waves. Dreams of drowning, of rescue,

of shear waters. The same ghost shark that’s gnawed

 

on you gnawed me, I see. From a strange wave

we both were born. From the shark that chants, shark

 

that mourns. Build for me the boat that I crave.

To slip through seas. To plunge into the dark.

 

To sink. To descend. Crushing depths do not

frighten me. — Only being lost from you does.

 

Only a life spent on land. We: sea. We:

brine. Come: be mine. A crew of two. We’re what

 

ghost sharks dream of. All that spumes. All that sluices.

All that fathoms. Love deep as the high sea.

làn-mara

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We’ve both seen seals bobbing on the ocean.

Any witchin’ that drowns sailors, cracks ships,

 

is good. Any tongue that makes, “làn-mara,” run

a gift. “There’s a harbor between your hips,”

 

Ma said. High tide runs fast there when your seal

wakes from dreaming. We’ve both heard selkies talk,

 

those gray women bound to men who steal

their skins. Our magic runs different: with cock

 

and cunt, with moon and tide, with your harbor

gushing. “Don’t tell Ma,” you said. “Don’t

 

stop.” I’ve drowned before. Your fat waves break

on my chin. The rim of your flooding shore.

 

The fog-lost lip of your cunt’s brim. I won’t

stop. Our witchin’ of the sea. Our sea’s ache.

][][

Notes:

Folklore from the Northern Isles of Scotland talk of the selkie, the seal folk, who are able to pass as human by shedding their seal skin. Unfortunately the selkie are also in the habit of forgetting to hide the one thing that gives mortals power over them so there are many fairy tales in which some complete failure embodying the worst aspects of manhood brings home a seal wife who spends all her time begging to be released and pining for the sea. In Scot-Gaelic, “làn-mara,” is the term for high tide.

newfoundland

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Don’t mind snow, you know. If it’s for a good

cause. If it’s falling on our snug cottage

 

perched on a ridge; if there’s auks and driftwood

strewn on the beach below. My sea village

 

slang needs work, but when “the morbs” come, all bleak

and glum, then I’ll “batty fang” through crusting

 

tide pool slush. I was made for fleecy chic

sweaters, flip caps, “tempest nanty narking.”

 

I, too, shall sing up a “mafficking” storm.

Squall songs that my sea hag sisters shall hurl

 

back. There’s more here than just hoarfrost and snow,

you know. I’ll sing them to you over warm

 

mugs of tea, cats on our laps, the whole world

ahoo outside our welcoming window.

][][

NOTES:

In Victorian British slang, “the morbs,” means being depressed or sad. “Batty fang,” “natty narking,” and “mafficking,” are all 1880 terms for causing a rowdy (and usually drunken) disturbance while out in public. In nautical slang, when something has gone, “all ahoo,” it means things are disordered or chaotic.

fluttered

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Now your soul returns. Consciousness seeps in

around the edges. Blink. Look down between

 

your splayed thighs to watch me watching you. Grin.

Blush a touch. When you said: “Make it obscene.”

 

When you said: “Are you still my big sister’s?”

I paused, poised over your plump swelling,

 

measured not in single centimeters

but in intensity, encompassing

 

everything, nestled soft, held safe by fat

baby phat lips. “I was but now I am yours.”

 

I’ve changed allegiances like that before.

Once she fluttered awake, too. “Horny brat,”

 

she called you. “Mine.” Go blind as the world roars

back in you, my lips tongue-smacking your core.

madivine

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Bad girl, good vibes,” your mum said. For a week

you slept between us, the curve of my cock

 

nestled against that wet cameltoe streak

etched deep in your panties. Let neighbors talk.

 

They called her Madivine. Puberty came

round. So did we. First: “Cum in mum,” she said

 

each time I pressed to split your mound. Nicknames

flew: “Mo ve fi, bon vib.” Natty dread,

 

indeed. Madivine: a priestess loving

priestess. Pressing me in you, in your blind

 

other Third Eye deep between your hourglass

hips. The one your mum tongued awake. Tonguing.

 

Gasping. Reckless. Wrecking you from behind.

My hands in your hair. My lust in your ass.

][][

NOTES:

Natty dread is a Rastafari term for a member of the Rastafari community. In Haitian Creole, “mo ve fi, bon vib,” translates as, “bad girl good vibes.” Madivine (also spelled Madivinaise) is a Haitian term for a lesbian voodoo priestess [citation needed].

deboned

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It won’t come back. Dead flesh. Phantom limb’s poor

nightmare. Poor like bruised fruit before being

 

relieved of skin; or besmirched sheets before

the stain. Some blotted blotches keep living

 

after the surgeon’s saw. I feel your hands

even now roaming, waking parts of me

 

like a miracle. Who said gutted wastelands

can’t itch? can’t feel pain? Such crude ecstasy

 

shouldn’t matter but it does. All I can’t

have. All that’s denied. We rot and we rave

 

that we’re still gods, still deathless. I’m gutted;

deboned down to the bone, to the bone’s rant

 

that it’s still there. Or you, love. You don’t crave

me these days. I swell with longing, putrid.

fog

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Autumn. Bombs fall. No one has any fun.

Autumn. Your sister’s husband leaves for Prague

 

and she moves in, sharing our affection

and bed. A city under mountain fog

 

and war-time curfew. “You see how she is,”

you say, pulling her panties to her knees,

 

guiding me in. “It can’t be helped.” Her fizz-

slush-gush sound nothing like far-flung volleys

 

of gunfire. Autumn in Stepanakert.

Rockets pockmark. Bombs fall. Drawing closer.

 

Drawing near. “Yes ts’av yem sirum.” She boasts

of a constant pounding. “Make sister squirt,”

 

you say. “This way.” We three ghosts. “Make sister

cum.” It can’t be helped. We three horny ghosts.

][][

notes:

Stepanakert is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Artsakh. As of yesterday (10/29/20) long-range Azerbaijani missiles fell on residential sections of the city, striking a maternity hospital and children’s center. In Armenian, «Ես ցավ եմ սիրում» (Yes ts’av yem sirum) translates into, “I love pain.”

cast

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I went to their church just once; to see how

their side lives. There will always be good girls

 

sitting with their parents thinking eyebrow

searing thoughts. Those who leave their bawdy curls

 

unfurled all morning bore me. It’s the kink

outside their temples and mosques, all those cast

 

out, that I call blood. Cousins. Eat me, drink

me, love me; come, make much of me. We’re vast

 

in our lusts. We own this. We’re not ashamed.

We don’t turn pale each time a strange tongue slips

 

in our ear. Let them fear us. Each crusade

of theirs has failed. Cousins, come. We’re named

 

this ours. We prophets of cocks, clits and lips.

Come home with me, blood. We’re all getting laid.

morozko

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Cold hands. Warm cunt. Standing on your porch. Snow

fall at midnight. Kissing. Your mother fuming;

 

watching through the dark living room window

as my fingers trace their way home. Working

 

down the front of your jeans. Finding the O

of your cunt. Wriggling in. Your mother’s hate

 

runs deep. She calls me depraved Morozko.

Old Man Frost. “We do more than masturbate,”

 

you told her. Now she’s leery as you drench

your crotch. Eyes closed. Thighs rubbing together.

 

Blushing at my chill touch. At what she don’t

know. Which is how you cum: swaying, teeth clenched,

 

in the dark snowfall, dazed each time winter

sinks, starts to play with what others won’t.

][][

note:

Morozko is the name used in a Russian fairy tale for the Winter King, whose love, they say, brings exquisite death.

consort

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Blood caked. Split knuckled after brass knuckles

left a wallop scar, after mama cat’s

 

back claws dug scallop-sized grooves, red jackal’s

love, read across each palm. Your democrat’s

 

lost cause is worth fighting for. Whitman’s, “Great

Commonwealth.” The rage I find in Suffrage.

 

Left hand path’s wrath at all who live to hate

sisters while the boom box sings, “O bondage

 

up yours.” Under split skin bone shines. I’ve sewn

my flesh up before. I can manage pain

 

but not their hate; there are some nerves even

smack can’t dull. My love calls herself a crone,

 

a witch. I’m her consort; son with bloodstain

knuckles. Come. Cum in rage. Rage an omen.

][][

note:

Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” is the title of a song by X-Ray Spex.