if i forget to tuck my feet
underneath the covers
in the morning the toads come
to mark me with their marginalia.
they right "we should go back
to the water." i lurk about each day
as if i'm not a conduit
for prophecies. i shave my head
& watch the follicles fall
like stickmen. today i am also
a stickman & i put my shoes on
to conceal the words of
passing angels. i attract graffiti
&, along with it, all the angst
of the world. sometimes i wake up
with a jar of eels sitting
on a shelf in my chest.
i lay still so i don't make fight.
there is also a beta fish beautiful
in my brain. i feed her gold flakes.
did you know there are fish
in fish flakes? then again
we are all a little cannibal, right?
once i put my youngest brother
in the oven & told him it was
a play pen. don't worry. i took him out.
i take a shovel & go to
where the words live like worms.
dig & dig. this place is my feet.
i am digging in my own walking
looking for a word that might mean
"apology" but tastes like
a golden delicious apple. instead,
i find more amphibian writing.
"i am through with
my lungs" & "i just want to eat
a blue berry." our mouths are
maybe our greatest limits.
i can't unhinge my jaw so instead
i just have to hope when i tell you
what i need it isn't
the size of a sofa. i wash my feet
twelve times because there is
no god & no apostoles
to do it for me. a flock
of pigeons come to watch. i tell them
to save their stories for stone.
it lasts longer. they laugh
& happily eat as much crumbles
as they can carry. every crumb
was once a stone. the lifetimes
of atoms are like carousels.
i'm headed back to the deep.
a frog in need of water
tells me, "i am through."
i wet my fingers
& carry him to the lake.
he breathes & does not thank me.
i wasn't expecting him to.
looking down i see the note he left
on my feet. it reads,
"it is time to stop."
i close my eyes & pretend
i myself am just an alphabet
until the sun inverts
into the moon. a quiet sliver.
my feather-cluttered night.
the world is cool.
the beta fish thinks he's royalty.