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22 Apr Odd love

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I meant to post this back in early April to celebrate poetry month, but the best laid plans of mice and men and all that…

Notes from the Canary Islands

By Peter Chiykowski

Four weeks off the coast, crotch rotting
in seawater, cock cupped
by the wetsuit,
and I swear to God
I’d marinate a whale
in petroleum just to see
your face again.
I hate how the satellite phone
spits oil in my ear
when we try to talk,
how the ocean throbs under me
like a toe
stubbed. All
in the name
of research.

The bureau says it takes 22 gallons of oil
to manufacture a truck tire,
which helps me understand
the ritual waste of repeating
I miss you,
and
I miss you,
and
I miss you,
to be heard just once
above the cackle of static.

I think that somewhere
between our shores
swims a giant sea turtle
choke-chained by telephone wires,
muzzled by envelopes,
gulping up those stray I miss you’s.
One day he’ll wash up on a beach,
rot out a bellyful of our words
for all the world to smell. I think about
the carcasses of our conversations,
know our love must end up
somewhere, must ooze its way
to some lonely reef
and make one fish
the happiest in all the sea.

Shouting to be heard above
the buzz of salt and shaky cables
makes for poor conservation,
but let the ocean have its slurry of words;
the world could stand to be polluted
by a little more
unnecessary love.

Hat tip to the lovely Amanda Leduc for sharing this poem on Twitter.

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