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
I remind myself:
are exposed bone.
but not the same,
me feel better
for some reason.
I write this poem
after I Google
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
but a place
& all of us will
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]