Mudlark No. 42 (2011)

Liver House

Smile for me perpetual
with your acne scars and waxed ears
with your sharp jaw bone and I 
will tell you I am from an uninhabited wilderness 
with tawny bears and baby bull elk 
rubbing against mail boxes

Smile to make me 
hurt along your sunshine coast
which my hermit-father would love

so remote says an echo and I see
you do not have the echo the echo does 

You are an echo with a smile that pulls 
your wide mouth tight and into which ocean 
behind your herd of teeth I seek

Smile for me perpetual and haunt me
and I will tell you of my rock hut
illuminated by moon off lake off sun off you
off liver

Oh for 25 miles and a ferry 
my bioluminescent surface
seduced by the elevator’s 50-year hourglass 
I am without names

but your smile is not from Andalusia
my hermitage is in Wisconsin
with only an echo of a ferry ride

Lend me yours and I will radiate
my liver in your mouth 
and with a squid glowing on the cover of Time Magazine
we share all the same reasons

So many reasons
your echo your smile the liver’s daughter
and it all happened so fast and we were gone
in the wake we created

Nathaniel Vincent Mohatt | Mudlark No. 42 (2011)
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