Here. Take my empty six-pack rings.
Slip your head in the noose and slink back to the mire you slunk from.
Wiggle your nose in the weeds on the beds of scummy seas,
grumbling for an explanation or recalling abduction.
To have seen the light of the world above the horizon,
to have been on the surface gasping for water,
to have squirmed in the boat with the rusty fishhooks,
and to fall back into the ocean with the dead chum,
and still not understand.
There is no depth: you cannot plumb.
There is no death: no pit at the bottom.
Only this clear slime we all swim through.
It is not the hardness of things that makes them hard.
Things are hard because things are
soft, fleshy, brittle:
the supple nipple soaked in BPA,
the toxins on the baby’s tongue,
and scales flaking off at the touch of the knife.
I don’t suppose these things mean much to you.
Your populations never could be ours.
We waste our sorrow wondering what to do
while you spawn semelparous some thousands of eggs.
Frank Fucile recently moved from Virginia’s James River to Wisconsin’s Chippewa. His work has been published in Kenyon Review and Forklift, Ohio.