pulled a fish out of my chest 
salted brine-blue scaled 
and dangling tail 

broke my ribs, emptied the rest 
out came pouring seawater spines 
dredged muskgrass and tangled kelp lines 

left foam and silt and suds crusted ‘cross 
my stomach seabed 
finally the waves crash a’coast 
linoleum, piano, cushion, remote, heavy outside 

so much lighter without my seawater 
in this sun 
a picnic against a clear window 
cold world reaching up, in cliffs 
fjords of wind, I could walk in 

I could drift, take flight 
soar and 
fall and 

bright black kite 
a streak through clouds 
and prism knives 

I thought I’d carry ocean to the earth underneath 
only let it spill 
when my walls of skins 
rotted enough for the fins to surf 
dead grave-dirt
instead I 
pulled this fish out of my throat 
thorax thrashed against gills 
to drain my lungs 
from maritime guilts. 

drag my fingers ‘gainst the bottom
dredging silt and sediments 
black the color of the bottom of the basins 
leaking from my nails to fingertips 

suck on black 
but it doesn’t taste like tears anymore
the salt’s less the wound of what i lack
more sediment 
than equatorial current. 

gone is the 
reaching grasping foam up my tongue 
rising tide to my teeth.

No. no more 
all that’s left is soft sand, 
found in ponds and black 
rock beaches. 

and all the oceans 
that fell to the floor? 

I don’t worry about flood. 
the fish in my hands, cradled, cupped, 
will look back at me up 
from the clouds 
–an eye in the sunset, 
lavender and dandelion reaching over 

I think this was 
I know this was long 
long overdue.