At night, I worry about red algal blooms and the way death follows abrupt darkness. Consider the lithe loggerhead or the polyps of ancient staghorn. What must it be like to surrender to those invading clouds, parched for sunlight?
I am most honest in a bathtub,
watching water rise.
Give me the open window,
bleached tile, seclusion,
Each time I step out strong, clean
down to the molecule,
I have remembered I am
only one body.
Tonight I worry that the future is too wide and we are too small; it absorbs us in a flash and we are gone, consumed… and the future yawns on and on.
Last night I worried about guardian angels. Are they ever disappointed in us? Why do they stick around? What if they don’t get to choose who they are guarding; maybe if we don’t connect with them they disappear.
At night I worry that my cat thinks my hands are not of me, but rather entities I can sometimes control. She watches them most carefully while I sleep, ogles at the inconsistency of their patterns. Perhaps in her mind, only my hands stay alive each night when my body has fallen.
At night I worry about bringing home a wife, and a baby that’s not family but rather a loved one. What a thing to call a child, what a thing to say to a best friend. I miss our childhood. I miss belonging with you.
At night, I worry that the ocean will rise over the marsh to kiss my mother’s front steps and an abusive cycle will begin, the sea gone as the stars appear, returning each sunrise drunk with salt and too in love with the moon to apologize.
At night, I worry about fistulated women far from help, abandoned. In a documentary on female castration I watched a beautiful widow lower herself into a hot tub, tears glowing on her cheek.
At night, I worry about my mother’s teeth. I fear the gargoyles in Westminster Abbey holding their teeth in their paws and howling in that odd agony specific to dental health. She flosses, I’ve checked.