Half Mile Down
My sick heart and my sick soul I'd gladly fasten in a bag and drop into an ocean-hole to float in darkness as a rag. Would it learn to make its light? Maybe in a million years. A million years of constant night in which it can't stop its fears flaring their nightmare tentacles and bioluminescent eyes as cold and sharp as icicles under moonless, starless skies: medusae, spookfish, cephalopods, jellies with no eyes or brains, lethal and beautiful as gods, locked in endless predation chains. How seamless then the world would seem, which life on earth never did, the living water like a dream crowded with prowling vampire squid that want only to stay alive among other monsters innocent of all but the pure drive to survive without self-judgment.
From This Morning by Michael Ryan. Copyright © 2012 by Michael Ryan. Reprinted with permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.