the rest wander among men as numberless sorrows,
    since earth and sea teem with miseries.
    — Hesiod

 

to sink like krill in a baleen
and swirl down to the unseen,
diving bell the belly of blue whale,
framed by the eye of bigfin squid.
to be some terrible thing poseidon did.
to binge until unhinged since hope’s shut in
its sunken box. to lubricate the hoary jail locks
and take a drink to drown out each
of earth and sea’s unseemly, teeming miseries.
to, like lotus eaters, live lives swallowed whole.
to, like cyclops eyes, down worlds in a single gulp.
for legend or lore like corroded copper ore
portends neverending benders
that turn men green. to dream cold seeps
and sultry hydrothermal vents.
to absorb stores of transformed spirits,
flitting fermentations, benthic bubbles bent transparent.
to show as many shiny, shifting forms as proteus.
to try the might of triton’s storms.
to wake up as drowned as a coastal town
halfslain by hurricane
and not be dead. to be consoled by haloes
bursting across surfaces, their eyelids oceans,
bioluminescences glimpsed high above their heads.
to know waves throw every drop they have at them,
as if hoping that they’ll sink.