When I hear the voice that woke me with a hand over my mouth,
humming Psycho Suite or The Imperial March, my throat closes up
and I have to rush off the thought of some last tolerant god to relearn
the physics of swallowing I love myself I love myself I love myself.
Though I've done nothing to ease the world. As a child, the voice
tried to balance out the earth, bringing soil from the garden
to the island’s roots loosed in the fast panache of a hurricane.
Still, it laughed more than it cried. We laughed more than we fought
but not by much, which doesn't mean much. When I confessed
I killed the man-o-war and the voice asked if it had a face, I only said no
because I was thinking of its hands. I have always looked to hands.
I only know what I still see: its rotund plea, its pleated crest
like a bloated sailfish with its dorsal fin array all astray, bereft
of any will to lollygag or dash or bat its placeless eyes
as I wrecked its bladder and listened to its pneuma seep.
I want to see the world and all its seepage glitter thick like tar.
I want to keep opening wounds the aperture of stars in snails and oak
with salts and picks to see the strongest things contract and pulp.
And I want to push a whale into the sand. We had such similar hands.
On the gurney, I note the breadth of purple beneath the muted teeth.
I love myself I love myself and He loved me and He loved me.
The last time I saw him, the earth was beneath his fingernails.