When the last fish head rolls onto my doormat,
quiet and waiting, I know that all hope
is lost. They will take over the lawn next; tilt
forward their nasal spines until each
nostril bursts with dandelions. Grapple onto these
and draw themselves forward by the root vein of petty
weeds; like princes clinging onto damsels. Trace
impossible steps between garden gnomes because
this is probably a dance from an Andy Warhol print
they once purchased. One sighs to another as
plant food latches nimbly to eye socket, and it adjusts
the tie that is red and surely glued on. Coughs politely
asking to be let in, soon, it is hot outside. They shift their jaws
anxiously; wait for asylum from Singapore, or India or
the parts of Chinatown where English is a dead
language but Atlantis is far more dead.
Anomaly, Anatomy, or, Animalia
This particular breed of hedgehog will only
sleep inside of your corpse at its freshest:
The first of them slips into the furrow dug by
careful morticians between your bellybutton and heart.
They, too, have pupils: widening when there is no
more light. Treading brisk on a ligament highway,
pointy and abrasive, rest weary heads
on your spare kidney; an excellent pillow.
Muscles relaxed with the weight of them,
they do not eat you, of course. Hedgehogs
are insectivores. But your liver, stuck to one's leftmost
of quills, is wet and thick. A cosmos pours out and
it is a good thing that hedgehogs can swim. Do not
mind a warm gully of blood against their spines,
amongst all four toes. Lick your bones and shroud their pores
in your scent. Scientists call this process, "anointing."
Their nestling and grunting akin to what a baby does
as it settles into its mother's tired lap: replete;
satisfied in your boisterous unmaking.
The Last Frontier
The internal anatomy of the sea anemone is rather
intricate. I swam through one's thick mouth and saw
a burial ground for Indian bones; broken-told
dialect that Oklahoma isn't big enough anymore–
there are too many dead warriors for
the space between Walmart and Wendy's. Wyoming
is too wet; reservations sopping with liquor, Nevada's
women too loose. Painted with gyrations like slack
beads. The only suitable place for a grave:
the bottom of a boundless sea, the pliable sides
of a casual animal. Landscape dense as peyote; delicate
as cut petroglyph. This species can reach the size
of a bicycle, a baseball field, a continent of ineloquent
and sacred hurts. Amenable to visitors; anemones
are scavengers. If the gullies of their folds cry, seep
and wail, it is injecting poison into pallbearer bodies–
it is a creature that is soft and violated. Like the soil
thrown onto a funeral mound. Composed of tiny, beaten pieces.
Every night, grievers mourn into its belly, they leave
their loves. This, their only place. The why of new worlds
always to leave the dead in them.