and as the water runs through the sewage

Study for Water Swirl, Canandaigua Outlet; Arthur Garfield Dove

i want to sit on the beach and eat glass > lap at seaweed frothed in foam swished mint green into the bathroom sink > ebb flow swallow spit > i hold up a shard of shifting benthos trapped in a lightbeam it is thick and dead > when i was twelve i had goldfish who all died in horrible ways > as goldfish tend to > i think there is something wrong with the water around here it treats our bodies like drainage > a corpsed world bedded in strata, the littoral’s metaphysical syrup > sap-celled, brined > and now that my mom has cancer we filter out the fluoride > more of my fish die > where she grew up there were only wells > and a river > that she planted rose buds along until the snakes settled like a seabed of convulsing muscle > now she hates the way cats’ tails twitch, a failure of spinal biology, she says > i would like to talk about god now > the way we all sprouted into lanky primordial adolescence, streamlined through the centuries like salmon pushed upstream > cynobacteria crawling into today’s stromatolite, ridged with the scraping bite of a teething photic layer > there is something growing under my mom’s breast > and it’s a pearl, lustred into rarity by the prehistoric nacreous digestive system it has invaded > a nautilus curled up in self-sustaining life > i am the patron saint of washed up waste > six years old throwing up in the wells and rivers, my mom’s hand rubbing my back > and at once i am nothing > it is lonesome to be evolution’s effluent > beach-glass is a weapon in my tentacles > this world does not want us here > there are other lonely people > who i am afraid of > i let my goldfish out into the sea > the foundational burial ground > and one day find them dead in the acid of my stomach