Salt Water

The vision of him appeared like the maybe
of drowning, to a soul in the shocking embrace of an undertow and
I broke the surface of the dream in a gasp of being lost,
wretching, that traitor pumping salt water, not blood.

Fathoms deep,
beyond splintered shipwrecks, in ink-pitch chasms,
lurking with spinal taps of teeth and pinpricks of phantom light
which writhe and glide on nothing, as nightmares do,
there, I knew then that 
hope was cradled in the sunken caverns of my skull

Pandora’s prize as a chest,
In veins, 
In lips pooled like neon bright reflections in seaside rain puddles
In the rusted copper piping of my waterlogged guts
–It all leads back to the ocean.


Hope that someone will succeed in the 
bathtub drowning domestic that he didn’t
because I’ll be damned to live like this
scared to swim, 
and coughing up salt water. 



Bury me on the poppy blanketed hill they used to call Makeout Point
where they do the same honours to the liquorice twisted steel car wrecks
of teeny boppers who died at the wheel.

Since my heart no longer beats, no longer roars like engines, no longer kicks up daybreak’s dust no longer races for rebellious honour no longer slams on ribcage dashboard no longer carries snapshots of James Dean–

That Cinderella hour, there will still be orange-red lens flares off the farewell-ing blooms,
Your senses wading in sangria shallows,
Blistering in the air before your doe eyes, sleep heavy lids.

Pleading irises like the old creek, mirror slick.
Comb teeth through sticky sweet pomade slick.
Arm around her shoulders, black and white drive-in, celluloid slick.

We were this beautiful once, when the good ol’ boys came back with scars
But before they had trench mazes for minds–
In the rolling slope of summer’s lower back
With the tire swing promise ring and tangled fingers like boy scout knots.

Crossing your heart,
Stand, motorcycle boots planted on my new sky and drink up the city lights in survivor’s gulps.
See the sun lie down with the horizon through a glass bottle
Sprinkle my ashes on a soda fountain sundae afternoon
Spill honours with your tongue.

Swallow to the memory of our blueprint clubhouse,
And plant a climbing tree over me
To look after those lonely poppies.