by STEVEN CHUNG
In the ocean I drown myself until dawn
to counteract the emptiness, my lungs
carafes waiting for nightfall to wound.
Mistaken too many times for fish, I pry
open a shark’s mouth, blow it a kiss
with my fist. Darkness allows for such things:
I am in bed crushing blackberries and
abandoning them at the bank of my mouth,
painting my tongue with their seeds.
At the end of our lives we are unrecognizable,
anonymous. But in the beginning
we are predicted: so I keep rebirthing,
returning to the womb. Seasonal fruit
are this way, their demise a sustenance.
Sweet lies of the earth: they are homeless
without my charity. At least the predator
knows its prey. That is a form of belonging.
Where are the bows, the arrows?
I am a law-abiding citizen: I am
ready to be any animal if it means being
legal to nature. Name me after the unknown
and sink teeth into my skin, for a bloodless
death in the ocean is too painless. Remind me
I am human, because without a chase
it is all conjecture. Justice requires sacrifice,
so I offer my security. Prepare me for the gods—
I am tired of being my own.