Mudlark No. 63 (2017)
			 Am I the dead bull-seal’s dream?  
			      And I was suddenly born — right there, 
								                    at that moment — 
		on the sand flats, among sea wrack, 
		         clouds skipping flat across the grey horizon, snake-waves 
				                           of sand side-winding east, repetitive crack 
	          of plastic against plastic in the wind; ribs and stones, opening
				                    a tiny perceptual hole...

	  I gathered twigs, rags, bits of anything I could find 
								           that was dry, tore
				paper from my notebook, lit it all on fire, whispered 
over the feeble flames the names the seal whispered to me:

	   Yangtze River Dolphin Caribbean Monk Seal Canarian Oystercatcher
    Florida Black Wolf Pyrean Ibex Japanese Sea Lion
			                    Kona Giant Looper Moth Ivory Billed Woodpecker
		      Golden Frog Aloatra Grebe
			                          California Grizzly St. Helena Earwig

   Language, language, rising from the body 
	  of the Aeduella fish shooting through the All Sea, eyes formed 
                       from water to give water sight; water inside muscle 
					                                                  inside water; water 
                    the bone the bone swims through; water’s desire 
   tracking shadows, playing chase with itself: word 
    	                    that speaks both sides of the skin, reveals skin’s illusion, lack 
		     				      of a precise beginning/end…

And I put a stone in my mouth. I put a stone in my mouth,
							              let stone speak to stone, found 
		  the fish imprint at the back of the skull, found 
					   the sound of a grey wave sifting through cockles. 
	Air flushed from fissures between broken shells. 
                 	                                        One thousand minute sighs. 

							             Messages from below.

Christien Gholson  | Tidal Flats 24
Contents | Mudlark No. 63 (2017)