Every language drowns itself. A body
may be sunk—but a watch, a shoe—these float
their foam to shore; that’s the parenthetical.
Also somehow I’m a mother, maybe
an awful one. I read to my daughter
in our leaky, rotted argot like
a hull with a hole. The Sea King’s
daughter (motherless) rises to the surface
of the sea, is stunned by the sky at dusk,
a human town lit by electricity,
by birds, even, in their trees. Poor Mermaid,
her every step on land is a knife stab.
Whoso loveth suffering made for his
daughter to loveth the Word. So it is
my daughter and I afternoons go down
the ravine, see a fox (in its mouth, a squirrel),
a clutch of deer, a hawk rapt by the rabbit
in its talons—not all these everyday.
Some days, nothing. Or just a blood trail where
a possum dragged its signifier up
out of the indivisible ocean.