My father lies dead on the beach now,
strangled with my intestines
by the seething Atlantic.
I stuffed them back into the abdominal
cavity and stitched up the wound
with some fishing line.
That night a white porcelain beach ball
rolled up to my bed and said, “Swallow me.”
I obeyed the command, my jaws dislodging
like those of a boa constrictor that begins
to ingest the goat it has crushed.
The ceiling then exploded and littered my bed
with pieces of burning gypsum.
I went to a bottomless pool nestled in the
roots of the great ash in the back yard,
cut out my right ear and gave it to a carp
with silver scales.
In return I was shown an underground passage
that ran from the end of the world to an
ancient city that had been swallowed by
Emulating a sea serpent that coiled around the ruins
I learned to breath underwater and to extract
nourishment from poisonous jellyfish by
recreating them on a linen shroud.