I Don't Want to Tell You about the Ocean
We've already heard Neruda talk of seven green tongues
of seven green dogs
of seven green tigers.
And even though Monterey Bay is more grey than green,
more tin shed than tiger, where I am from, yes, we have ocean.
Where I am from we have the soundwave lull of kelp
undulating right to left, an ancient script.
I can't imagine someone not knowing the ocean,
how it melts and spreads and thrashes, how it acts
some days like my brother's friends moshing
at a Dirty Rotten Imbeciles show in the city,
crushing its guitars, throwing cymbalcrash tantrums,
eighty boys flinging their hard knees and elbows,
the salty taste of their wet, hot skin.
Useless to describe the ocean on its snail days,
its poured glass skin, skin of eel, of oil, of boring stars.
In Santa Cruz, people in long sleeves stand and stare out
for hours, as if translating direct messages from God.
The people where I'm from say Dude.
They say Duuuude if the surf is high.
Duuuuude! if you tell them your grandma just died
or your best girl left you for your boss.
I could say the ocean talks to me in churchsteeple tongues.
I could say that ocean calms me into syntonic bliss.
I could say ocean is a woman and when we speak of her
we say body. We say dip and curve and foam.
But where I'm from, the ocean is male.
I want to dive anemone deep where cold grows cold
on its finny gills. I want the ocean to suck my nipples hard
as clamshells, to suckle every seaweed strand of my hair.
I want to drown in him now, mouth full.
My bones breathless in the numb body sea,
my bones held hard in the crystal sea,
his wet gravity slipping around my ankles,
splitting the rock of my ribcage.
I'm going to miss his fishingline flesh.
I'm going to miss his thousand kisses sucking off my dress.
I'm going to miss his sweet razorblade tongues,
my flesh lickedeighty tongues, a thousand tongues,
one hundred thousand salty tongues
scouring the breath out of me.