Ember Tidepools


I’m a burnt ember flicked off the butt of a sour ending
tossed into the bed sheets a bedded lamb
my head’s jammed projectors eject me like sweat glands
your hands slide across slit raw jawbone
sweet streams flowing into mouth your guava lips my rusty thumb
rough with yesterday’s flour
I hold you to my time counting on pulse
we are not sunken ships we were sonar metronome butter wing arm rings,
they snapped at sundown,
the sound of our heads deflating was stuttering steam breathed over winter shore
sand caught in light house beams rolled foamy water where the empty bottle
stained washed up cigarettes,
I’d rather lie with you than drugs
I’d rather lie with you than run this rat wheel captain
I’d rather lie with you than set ablaze
even in the midst of cold people who cannot locate love
my voice metaphor for drowning
I wish you had the courage to hold on like grey tobacco smoke
or paint orange gem flickers onto the shadows of factories
I caught your eye in wet fish net wheel cranking
hoisting thousands of seizure swimmers convulsing on moon lit docks splashed
on decks across America,
across Asia, across Europe, across Africa,
lying upside down streetside smoking through yellow coffee camel teeth
spluttering blunder bottle spittle spat, craftily bum hustle charisma tactfully sewing
shoe lace fabricated journeys,
or writing cardboard signs with dwindling sharpies,
a dying 40 oz, gasping snuffed, endless teeth chatter, insect swarms flittering
friction bound executions,
their flat blades wedge skull vertical passerby and vortex each vertex my pupils
plot endless,
attempt at explaining the source, watching limbs waiver pool ripples scrawling
dead drawings on coffin doors,
twist locks or coughing phlegmy morning goodbye pouring,
a body heals grief with false delusions safety,
the only word I have left to comfort myself is “fun”
what ironic sound I do spew from mouth as fingers crinkle into broken paper star
fingernails tap dancing flat piano keys over back-breaking breakbeats bashing
head wide open marble scatter, waterfall audio purple flesh rain drops gums
scathing brick fire escape lips sucking peach skin beauty queens,
heartfelt hugs in the seats of old cars under autumn wind and you’ll never see my
memories again
I’m swept away
instep caught in the undertow of journey
I’d rather float on my back
I’d rather lie with you in an Ember Tidepool

 Michael Gallagher

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