Seven Days Before the Tempest

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(I) Seven days before the tempest

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(I) Seven days before the tempest

And this water, this water can drown

Me. And anything below. Below.

Hell has seen this ocean before the fire was snuffed out.

Seven days and walls are rattling.

Seven days and this tempest is as thick as the mud that binds my skin.

And I am sodden and asleep on this carpet.

(II) I dream of you

You dream not of me, not for me.

Dreaming of water, wishing that it would spill

In through glass windows, six days before the tempest.

Spilling over the edge of my lips when

I am parched. Not for these things that make me human

But for this chaos, this lighting of the pyre

(III) And smoke

Runs into your eyes, five days before the tempest,

You turn your face to me.

Oh, deluge. Water on the brain.

And I have been known to fall

In love, oh, I love the sound of another heartbeat.

I love, love, virulent, waterlogged eyes.

(IV) I am a garden,

Four days and this tempest is feeding me

Four days and my ribs are a hothouse, bursting.

Dead mouthfuls of roses; Blood and bloom essential.

Now, I am drunk and wilting.

Now, I am feasting on

Stringent torrents. These gauzy hands of water shake me until I am awake.

(V) Mad is a river that surges and whelms

And mad are you if you dive in

Three days and this tempest is filling you

Three days, you are burgeoning,

Brimming, quaking, moonstruck.

I slip into your palm—the firefish.

Douse me. Quench me. Smother me.

(VI) If all this rain were snow,

I would be greedy and hungry for warmth,

But my skin would not gather and tear.

My bones, not porous, full of poltergeist.

My lips, mouth, my tongue, all blue and bloated.

I would not be a sugar pill dissolving in water.

I would not be two days before the tempest, a placebo, God's cure, and gone.

(VII) One day before the tempest,

And this weight, this water is enough to suffocate

Me. And anything. Everything. I am

A tempest, peddling and peddling through air. I am

The weight. The water. Watching it, wanting it

To suffocate me. To light me aflame

One end of me a boiled wax body, the other a wick.

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