oceanographer’s lullaby

 

i used to think the earth was yeast—

kneaded under lovey stupid fingers into

something

untranslatable: a god like a river

with no mouth.

 

i used to dream

in blackwater and passive

margins, imagine that i could speak giddy

the language of deepsouth longing

 

in reality, my body teaches itself only rot.

saline, tidal range, heliotrope, goat milk—

 

my sister says i write about things i don’t

        understand—like the crisp anatomy

of dissatisfaction, the way rain rolls over

the lowlands in surrender,

 

water-smoke.

 

somewhere, i’m kissing an oceanographer

right at this very moment and neither

of us know it until our throats

 

close up with the swell—baby,

let’s build ourselves a river delta and settle.

kiss my eyes until i see anew—

kiss my lungs until i’m quiet. show

 

me yeast all soupy and palpable

like fresh baked bread under moon-

mouth skies and the spring tide.

show me how it feels to be

home alone in nowhere

america.