What Will I See?
by Joel Holmes Marler
My eyes are sinking
In a grey-green sea.
What will I see?
Dolphins weave between snapper
Amid crackling sonic war-cries.
Safety is elusive;
The skin of the water
Is pierced by diving cormorants
Who whet their appetites
And turn water into wine.
But that is all.
Far from shore,
The ocean is desert.
Creatures abhor this wasteland
And only enter it
To reach warmer coastlines,
Give birth, or kill.
My eyes are sinking.
Still sinking, climbing down
To a terrifying obsidian landscape
That chokes the light with both hands,
Robbing my only power
Each inch I descend.
Clinging to light particles
Who strip to their bare electrons,
Thin and emaciated, out of their depth,
I stretch twilight to a line;
But even lines have some width,
And when the last quivering lantern is snuffed
The whole game is changed.
I am now twin babies without a mother,
In a land where shadows have jaws.
The journey down continues.
Though without sight
There is no sensation of descent;
Only one of suspension
Of both movement and time.
I am conscious only of my own consciousness
And without the competition of the visual
My thoughts have mushroomed into titans
That eddy around me as a sphere of rainbows,
Rutting with each other for my attention.
They have become my world
And they protect me from the real world
Of vampire squid and hagfish,
Transforming anything that strays too close
To these unfamiliar neon colours
Into a violent flash of light
That chases Darkness into her cave, for a moment,
Until she rallies and reclaims her land.
But I do not notice this.
I do not notice the real world -
To me, my world is now the real world.
The truth is boring.
It only offers snapper scales,
Fluttering downward from the past
Like grotesque confetti.
My thoughts continue to swell,
Erasing all they envelop
Except the immutable granite floor
Of the Earth itself.
The ocean eventually brims
With a cacophony of colours.
They are venomous sea snakes
Who writhe in pleasure
In consuming the Pacific.
Unlike real sea snakes, however,
They are not bound by water.
Imagination is only restricted by itself,
And they soar into the air,
Coagulating into waves
That glitter above islands
With sparkling malevolence
Before extinguishing them
In one awesome swoop.
My eyes throb with megalomania,
Loving this war of the worlds,
But unable to conquer gravity.
Still slowly sinking
To the bottom of a sea.
I at last flop onto bedrock.
The world is encapsulated in light -
It is the Las Vegas of the Milky Way
And even the Sun
Dips his head in respect.
But I cannot swallow the Earth itself
Like a lozenge;
I can only eradicate its surface detail.
My eyes will dim with time,
Clinging to light particles
As the sea inks over once again.
But when the last quivering lantern is snuffed
The whole game is changed,
And the land will rumble with laughter.