by Caelan Ernest
meet me at the midnight dip for a sequin plunge for the tide caught in a rip we’ll dunk down to the bottom of the seafloor in time to catch sight of the the blue lobster as she bounces off the oyster’s pit revealing its belly is just a gum a kind of jelly clutching its pearl like a headstone facing west & there will be dancing there will be a masquerade the urchins have invited us to wear their bodies on our faces like decorations, old periwinkle shells on our nipples like pasties— even the hermit crabs will break out of dormancy just to show their feet for one night meanwhile somewhere above us all the voices of the harbor fuse into one voice their many lucid vibrations rattle the water our celebration put to a rest my body dripping in a former wet picture it an orange hat flying off the bow of the boat all those years ago bobbing at the surface as if for air the child’s fingers curl reaching back oh pond, i know the fun can’t last forever so swallow me spit me out on the north side where the sandbar breaks into breach toss me with your tongue to the island of no man we both know the harbor’s wailing voice will never consider this a proper burial without ritual first don’t mourn me before morning has enough time to shake the stars off the roof of this place yes, pond— above me the clammers will continue to ride out at dawn in search of harvest for their wives & children picture it the mermaid spurred by the occasion to come out of retirement & sing her famed song this blighted morn oh, pond, it’s you it’s you who has been all along ____
Caelan Ernest is a nonbinary poet, performer, and thingamajig living in Brooklyn, NY. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in WUSSY Magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, BAEST Journal, We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020), The Poetry Project’s House Party, The Felt, and more. They hold an MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute. They are Director of Publicity at Nightboat Books. Hit them up on social media: @transputation.