Follow the directions and watch the clock.



All of us were there in the throat of that fish, it was squeezing, thrusting, and hot. Thrashing, there we were, hot. Our hipbones were pegged one bone to the next, and the tightness would not let them slip. They were pinching like the pressing of things that can't be compressed and they were reaching through the skin. They were reaching through the cartilage. They were touching each others' porous whitenesses, like fingers cold pointing and solid.

The saliva, it was flooding. It was making us sticky and smell like ass. It was coating our skin and cartilage from our hipbones pushed back and it was mingling with our blood like sperm. Our ass cheeks were damming it deep below our hips. That lake it was rising to the middle of our lower lips. It was rising to our tongue-tips, salty, slimy, that lake was rising to the bottom edges of our noses up-inclining, as we saw that mouth, above us parting, in one last gasp of air, and as the gills below us were withering, we knew so well, like so many things sandy selfish and alone.

What a glorious long tide it was, seeping sliding out. A long time, sloping and stirring. Striking, at the crests, boiling just slightly, self-strangling through reaching and stretch.

That was how your hand was every second. That was how your pores were, every one single one, long tides for long times, stretching. Boiling over in every direction. Their energy scalding the thing's skin.

The thing's skin or its bark, its trunk hardening down, its trunk like a rock or cement rolling at the base. Its trunk like bending as you climbed, so very high, your feet there all calloused and scratching. Your feet breaking the branches and the thorns at their roots, them sputtering, off, into the air.

As you gurgled deep down I don't care I don't care through the white wine all seething and stuttering. The foam of wine mingling with that of spit, you were refusing, as always, to swallow.

You were peeling off the leaves nice and slow. You were floating them upon the sea all reeling in your mouth and you were sticking them in your hair, in vain. They were slipping, simpering, off. They were floating, tripping, through the air.

They were landing on your children so bountifully there, so small, and looking up, in awe. Your children shoulder to waist trying to keep their eyes wide and their many little locks tucked to the sides, amidst the wind all voraciously drawing—

The bees, they wouldn't stop their blubbering. They were tired, and they could not land. By the wind they were swung onto a cheek a freckle a hand but they were smug sniffing up your story for their honey. And high as you climb in the end the wind will die as your stature sinks to an infinitely small size and the bees, then, they will preside, on the narrow raised shoulders of your children.

I swear on my grave and on my mother's buck tooth, ever and ever, amen: thou shalt not waste away in paper towels like this, a present, ready for school. Thou shalt not mind your ways. Thou shalt mind these swears, these promises given, these airborne things plunked there like pillows.

I will tell the truth, the whole truth nothing but, amen God and pluck me up. Like the feather of a bird, all sounding its cluck and puffing up its chest in the wind. Ruffling up its chest its furry soft chest, like a hand, on its self, just caressing.

On the bench, here, I shall wait. I shall hold you in my lap, my bird, my child, I shall hold you here just like that. I shall watch your paper towels for leaks in their patterns, like pixels my little present, you ready for such school?

With your life I shall attest, you bird, our goodness, with your life I shall attest our faith. With my fingers all clammy and swelled from salty food I'll spare your little sweet bones. I'll spare your flesh, like skin, and bones, your flesh like age or elbows, sliding.

I'll tell the truth with it all stuffed in my mouth. I'll tell the truth with your bones spurting out my mouth's corners, with your skin, dripping like drool. Thou shalt learn the depths that are mine. And in that infinite abyss thou shalt sprout in sin, a gun, set off just like that.