Postcards from a Drowning Man

Originally published in Drunk In a Midnight Choir

 

Dear Gray,
If you are reading this,
then you are breathing.
Good job.
And if you are breathing,
then you are likely breathing air.
Congratulations.
I, on the other hand,
am breathing water,
the results of which have been disastrous.

I am breathing water
because I ran out of room
in my stomach, so
I had nowhere else to store the ocean
except in my lungs.

Dear Gray,
My lungs are beginning to burst,
it’s marvelous.
The last time I felt a bursting like this
The Rosebay Willowherb
was in bloom on the hills
they were bursting,
only less suddenly than my lungs.
they were slow explosions
their detonation lasting months.
When the breeze blew
the magenta blossoms rippled like flames,
the hill was ablaze,
on beautiful fire.
I wanted more.

Dear Gray,
I fell into the ocean
and now the ocean is falling
into me, and my lungs
they are now exploding like those blossoms,
I am becoming the image I thirsted for,
I am becoming the landscape,
I am leaving behind time and entering space,
you could say that my lungs are blossoming,
I am dying of beautifulness.

Dear Gray,
There are worse
things than this,
I assure you.
Terrible coffee, for
instance, or waking up alone
on a Thursday, or
the horrible friction of love.

There’s less friction down
here, as everything begins
to press in.  I could get
comfortable. You, on the
other hand, you don’t have
this pressure, this bursting,
nor do you have this landscape,
but you do have
my sympathies.

Dear Gray,
Mygod it must be awful
for you, knowing what time
you wake up tomorrow, what time
to brush your teeth, what time
to haul in the skiffs, what time
to pull the fish from your nets, what time
to push coffee through your mouth, what time
to pull the fish from your nets, what time
to push food into your mouth, what time
to pull the fish from your nets, what time
to to sleep as cold as when you woke, what time
the sun never goes down, what time
what time what time.

Dear Gray,
I don’t have time.
I only have space now.
But you’re making good decisions.
There’s so much more to tell.
That’s always the rub.
Now I’m in a hurry.
it’s all a wash
in the end.
I’m dying so
don’t bother writing back.

Sincerely,