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by Damn Selene

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they say no man is an island, but I am not a man
I am a partially submerged mound of old regrets and sand
I'm a sinking feeling that’s personified
in my hands, I hold nothing but the very breath I’m saving for the end

so no spoiler’s please, except that Jonathan is sure to die
stick the needle where it’s needed, cross the pump a couple times
double up on dreams and lies, act like there’s even a difference
when the wishes ran through fingertips while focused on my shitting hand

a pity, then, or something like it, as we’ve guessed
I’ve erased every footstep, burned the bridges to this mess
I’m a lesser than with hands & feet, and an echo in my chest
and only sonar to relate that to the other floating vets

but the steps I take are dense, on the ocean floor I stride
fill a couple ears with blues beneath a mile of liquid sky
otherwise the only songs that play are voices in my mind
and if they won’t let me breathe then I guess it’s die trying time

in these

when life gives you saltwater grow a pair of gills then

they say come in the water’s fine, but I am not convinced
see I was born against these waves and they’ve been raging ever since
I’ve been so sure the salt would somehow wash away with one more rinse
that I’d affix myself to jetty’s edge and kiss the bitter winds

but that’s not really swimming, is it? that’s sinking with style
and I’m a dripping pile of weighted blankets fit with fists and eyes
if I’m honest, Wilson, then most likely this entire time
I would fail to recognize my reflection if it was dry

but the anchor laid is mine, so who am I to whine then?
I made my bed brine-side where the brighter bits are blinding
with a definite reminder of the kind of beasts you’d find there
and the minor piece of pride’s my persistence just to find air

so fill a pair, if you got em, gills and lungs alike
and may the tides be in your favour, baby, good luck and goodnight
find that higher ground’s a saviour, maybe this time you’ll be right
or that’s a silhouette of waves to come that aim to scrub your life

when life gives you saltwater grow a pair of gills then


released March 21, 2020
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Damn Selene Denver, Colorado

Bleeper of bloops.
Rapper of raps.

Helephine extradialer.

THEY/THEM pronouns.

Ridiculously cute and not sorry.


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