Imagined Sea Creature

 I am fixated 
 On a certain kind 
 Of imagined sea creature 
 That doesn’t exist yet,
 But has also 
 Been clawing through the muck 
 On the pond scum floor 
 Of my stomach,
 Always.

 It loosens clots of dirt in my belly, 
 And is made of white-hot metals 
 That repel the water around it, 
 Orbs of burning silver 
 Existing always in clouds of steam 

 I think I saw it.
 While I was waking up 
 The other morning 
 I imagined you without your hand, 
 Your face crusted over 
 Like a bejeweled lobster’s belly. 
 And I recognized that creature in you. 
 The one that I have always known 
 And has simultaneously 
 Never been here yet 

 This creature takes metals 
 Into its mouth 
 They singe its tongue 
 And with its tusks 
 It molds them 
 Into armor, 
 A hardened membrane. 

 It tries to gather up as much as it can, 
 Builds weapons from it too. 
 Weapons it can use 
 To scrape through the bottom 
 Of the scum veiled pond floor, 
 Into that deeper part, 
 Underneath the skin of the ground,
 Where there’s a sound 
 Like a voice stretched to the loudest vibration it can make 
 Echoing 
 In the painful silence that comes 
 Right after something very loud has quieted

 It attempts to surface this way,
 Without realizing 
 That it is only venturing further 
 Into the place 
 Where it was never imagined
 To live in that silent space 
 Just before waking.
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