They say that he hid my skin, but what they
do not know is that I threw it into the sea
at high tide, such that it will not drift back
even if I change my mind. I was always the
stubborn one, they said. I must learn to bend,
keep my whiskers wet and my tail below water.
Still I remain unrelenting, thankful that on land,
the air does not shift when I kick.
On winter nights I sleep with his warmth, not
anchored to kelp forests. I take in his catches;
try not to gobble the raw fish. I sing him and
our baby to slumber, quietly, so that they will not
Yet sometimes I tie my legs with kelp, dive
deep into darkness until my lungs burn. I smell
the rot of dead things in wrecks. I feel tentacles
brushing my feet. I'm unable to be afraid of blue.
I cannot leave the water behind.
I’m the same age you were when
you left for milk and never came home.
They saw your spaceship leaving
town, fender still dented from the
meteoroid crater. For years I drove
slow past every convenience store.
Failed math and science so you
could correct my arithmetic - that
if you could leave me for Venus
you must not love me enough to stay
home. Lil brother still writes you. I hold
enough rage for both of us. I dare not
orbit our black hole of a home. Instead
I stay with a boy made of red earth, fucks
him knowing one day he too will leave
our child behind. There are infinite
universes, so there is one where you
never left and there's one when you've
blinked out of time. I'm in the universe
with the expired milk and I am still
waiting for you to return.
The Lives of Others
They build apartments too close
to each other. I see cracks in
every wall. Two months after
she left, you still sleep curled up
on one side. Her clothes still hang
from your balcony. The dog waits
at the door every evening, and
you leave the light on if you sleep
early. There are days you forget
and make coffee for two. You are
running out of milk, and your plants
are dying. I see you looking at
my window; I wonder what you can
read about me.