Poems: Three Poems by Tyler Gillespie

Three Poems

by TYLER GILLESPIE
 
heartbroken scientists lament the likely loss of ‘most of the world’s coral reefs’
 
A god swallowed the ocean. Lifted the seafloor
& chugged like a frat boy   with cheap
beer.   Lapped up all  the starfish    & coral  & mermaids
& monsters. Forgot His manners.  Stuck His face in it.
Crushed the can on His forehead.          Stepped  on a cloud
to take a leak.   Grew lonely.   Created a new galaxy
because after you’ve drunk  the ocean   there’s nothing
left to do. I didn’t watch this god  swallow  the ocean:
Difference between my hands & the sea.  I’m a tiny
man  who sits  in a room   thinks about waves  & whales
& how the last time   I saw you:    You had just set sail
to another land. I didn’t think to ask you why
before you pulled the anchor   up from me.
 
 


 
 
a sperm whale that washed up on a beach in spain had 64 pounds of plastic & waste in its stomach
 
When I have this much
anxiety
 
I remind myself:
teeth
 
are exposed bone.
 
Tongue, muscular.
Heart similar
 
but not the same,
which makes
me feel better
 
for some reason.
I write this poem
 
after I Google
“How to
 
Get Over a Break Up.”
 
Listen to Kelly Clarkson
sing: breathe for the first time.
 
Reddit tells me holding
on to a bad relationship
 
is disrespectful to yourself.
 
& the earth is on fire.
The ocean is not
 
a metaphor
 
but a place
 
where everything
 
& all of us will
one day
 
end up
inside
 
the belly of a whale.
 
***
 
[“a sperm whale that washed up on a beach in spain had 64 pounds of plastic & waste in its stomach” borrows its title from a CNN article]
 
 


 
 
more than 700 north american bee species are headed toward extinction
 
The mechanic dares me    to eat
a bee trapped in motor oil. I’d heard
they’d started to disappear, an epidemic.
Earlier that fall    Mom died in her sleep,
so I wore her nightgown   underneath
my clothes. Found good work at a car
shop near home. Robert left. Called my
grief too much    too ugly a thing. Said it’s
clear there’s grease in my nature. I’d always
admired bees  how they sting then fall to earth.
That’s conviction. An exhilarating way to live!
The mechanic dares me to eat a bee trapped
in motor oil. For 20 bucks & a Coke. Feel
slick wings on my tongue. I pray for its sting.
 
***
 
[“more than 700 north american bee species are headed toward extinction” borrows its title from a Time article]

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