If You Took Me Backwards Through The Dark

If you took hold of my nape and lifted me weightless
back, into the dark. If I saw the world pulled
wordlessly into a pin. If shadows shrunk and
that last light shone shots along wet narrow walls
until that last light shone nothing and if you kept going
and I’d only know the going because of not stopping and
there wasn’t wind anymore and I couldn’t hear my
breath but when it hissed through my teeth what if you
kept going and all I could feel was your hand on my nape
still pulling and my belly rising and hands out
like that was all there was. If you took me back into
the dark I would see echoes of the path, snapshot of
that framed shadow at a dinner table, leaning I would
see bright, burning light I wouldn’t let go of that creamy
oozy light like butter on bread the bread on the table
and I’d cut it clean through and white light would bounce
off silver knife and WHAM there’s a butter knife in my wooden table
wooden table old in runs of browns, yes waves of browns like
oceans so grooved that a wooden ship might coast over that one there,
and spotting a bay, shoot to land for creamy yellow lightning hits
SILVER on the water and you’re swimming and swimming
and your voice will go up into nothing and shadows dark
shadows of birds swoop like a fan in correlated wrecklessness
and swoop down and swoop over and around like one black
fan like holding your hand out the window in the wind like that
feeling cutting through heavy air until it catches, slicing down
down down and an oar catches water, sharp pressure caught
and with current like this you can’t pull it up hands on wood blisters on palms
you twist the oar, find the angle, slice it back, spraying, dear God
cold water ship in the oars, put your bare breast on the seat
and itch with salt and grip the bow with your hands and
GOD don’t close your eyes you know you’ll be seasick but there
there it is you are seasick now and when you do close your eyes
you are still there swooping in your head like a brain on strings
like a whale in a net suspended on a dock as it swells with the
boat but it does not swing with the boat it does not it does not
it might tear the boat in half because THERE the great boat leans left
and THERE the whale follows just not in time and a great mast
leans right as the whale pummels to the left and over the left
side of the ship breaking through rails, FLAT dead into water big
waste when the ship rights and you roll on your back and your brain
is still there thank goodness and suddenly sun warms then burns
a freckled shoulder, your mother’s shoulder, your mother’s freckled
shoulder with an ugly mole but mostly nice freckles if you if you pulled
me I’d see my mother’s mole in the freckles and I’d be dizzy and careening
into darkness by the nape of my neck coasting back aching
sick to my stomach and breath in my teeth and along
the tip of my nose until you let go of me flying along water along
wooden table stages so flat so shining until you
let go of my nape and let my brain slingshot back up my throat
and into my eyes let me leave you now let me be free of this
dark dark dark dark dark dark dark fast of this ship that this
SILVER is shining until I let my arm fall and I cut into hard
water splintering spray hits hard cuts down hand temple
back shin stomach hit and it’s painful here on the surface
let me cut in and down slice my raw body in your COLD


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