Sapiens Pulse the River
We blame death
for there always being so much more.
A baby’s crown, his soft spot thrumming,
open bottles of sedative within reach, air beneath
the surface, an impulse to breathe
as the sun turns water white. I pull fishing line
out of my throat. Feel
where it pulls from, the plastic river flooding
& thinning, flooding & thinning.
Deeper into esophagi, my wet pink
choke on a hook I deny holds a mind
of its own. The river’s wedding.
The river’s reeling. Barbed
throat, rivering home, I resist, teeth-first,
dragged over hot river rock, hollering vowels
the heron ignores my wet blue eyes
bulge, we see through tears, underwater,
our Gods intersect. All love is fear.
We want to be pulled below light & current,
to convulse, mouth pursed
around a thin string, feet buried in clay. I too
want to be extinct,
but not to die: find paradise in oblivion,
an inability to fathom my death
is freedom: in benzo overdose, I become immortal,
feel the cold kiss against my tailbone
as I hurdle the plastic river into depths
unknown: the way planets shrink for the biggest star,
addict, one who builds the house he steals.
I worship the water’s crown, lightning bugs
drown as I’m pulled deeper into the river. Relief,
even the present is memory.
I can stop fighting the bait I forgot I took.
I felt safe with you in the trunk it was February there wasn't any traffic just a dry vomit soaked towel at my feet & a bear's shadow being bleached from I-89 North what else did we want driving as slow as we could? dynamite? a microscope? you said I embellish a small noose in the glove box peeling potatoes while you crept in the left lane we headed to our buddy's skin entire toenails left on the bathroom floor the light towers formed a stage for the bear's innards crimson organs beneath hard hats & cigarette smoke moths ghost the bulbs into crumbling moons we’re all born too soon I realized I could be anything yet trapped excavating the slow wet slope of your throat in the rear view when we were farther North stars dropped by the fistfuls onto the highway’s black river I pressed a flashlight to my cheek & opened my mouth I could barely speak my mouth so full of light
Cole Depuy is the winner of an Academy of American Poets University Prize (Binghamton University) & the Negative Capability Press Spring 2020 Poetry Contest. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Pinch, Hunger Mountain Review, I-70 Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Summerset Review, Seneca Review & elsewhere. He’s Poetry Co-Editor for Harpur Palate & Binghamton Poetry Project Co-Director. You can find him on Twitter @cole_depuy or coledepuy.com.