Off a cold cloud into the sea
we dove, a swan dive trailed by
the tensioning line tethered
to our spines, what made us
scale the endless ladder, the ladder
bending out of sight? We’re still not
impressed, we’re still not sure
what exists, whether negation’s list
and listserv and bliss—never mind,
the masters won’t allow it.
No weariness will drag us
to a chest, even if it brims
with gems, the hearts once ours
and ours again if we wield
a crowbar, some strength, if
opened—no weariness will drag us
now that the sunset’s been made
a suspect, now that the suspects reversed
the roles, no weariness now that
the guideline’s been severed
by a gloved hand clutching
a bone handled knife, the knife
dropped into the night sea, and us,
flashlights between our teeth,
lost in the wreck of who we are
and who we set out to be.
We, the suspects, no different
from any master except in that
we’re masterless, watched the sun
set on the east coast under the sea,
watched the world’s end
descend in a blueprint, the cut
guideline snaking away like a snake
escaping to the surface, sea and sky,
slithering through water, through air
as if slithering through drying leaves.
When we say the sea is endless
we don’t mean in terms of space,
but power, as in the sea devastates.
We’re not tired, we’re not weary,
we drain our hearts of the hurt
every night, we open our mouths
to roar, even here, underwater,
we let out the pockets of air
that rise above and dissipate
before ever reaching the surface.
As the saltwater floods our lungs
we breathe on, breathe deeper,
our lives seeking no more
than the seal to our afterlives.
Max Lasky is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leavings (www.leavingslitmag.com). His poems are published or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Frontier Poetry, Heavy Feather Review, The Indianapolis Review, OxMag, Painted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere.