Song of the Man Who Has Hit Bottom

Nothing much happens here, inside
this broken hold. Strings of kelp
plait me a green mustache, so fish
don’t know me. They just prowl by,
like-minded in their schools,
working those vulgar gills, and I wonder:
where’s the recovery team?
Everything tight up there? Bad year?
These cycles will reduce us all
to bare bones soon.

But sometimes in my dreams I’ve seen
my savior, in his brilliant metal
helmet. Through the faceplate
I’ve seen him, sucking, like a lamb,
on the long hose that loves him.
His face is kind and dull among
those plump dioxide grapes he labors
musically to expel.
His glove touches the hull,
attaching a crumpled bladder.
He vanishes, jerked upward
like bait reconsidered.

Mind you I’m not complaining.
One simply learns to wait. One takes
this fringed pink anemone
to wife. Her name is Friday.
She’s going to do everything else.

:: Edison Dupree, Prosthesis (1994)

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