I’ve been trying to plumb the deep.
I’ve been trying to disappear. Call me
purple. Call desire a tangled skein.
Say it lives in every tentacle. Do you care
much for the lonely, alone in the sea?
Glass squid dive a thousand meters, light
down on the edge of light. The idea is
simple: attention must be paid to chasm-
dwellers, we all need chaos or a fellow
shade the same nebulous shape. Which
is to say, I’d like to slide under your cape.
You, with your leaky fiber optics, you
with your smidge of sun, I want to be
the violet that melds into your night
The afterlife of flames
After fire blackens the earth,
after a scarf of smoke presses
against the wound, the embryo
inside its sack, ripe and resting
in a chemical sleep, there’s
no need to abide any longer,
no need for the abode, the
hut, the hull, the home, only
translation is required to un-
coil a long-limbed seed, a pip
braiding itself into a child
the color of sunset, four petals,
naked stem, one bloom arching
her narrow body over harm.
Marsha de la O's new book, Every Ravening Thing, came out in Spring 2019 from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Antidote for Night won the Isabella Gardner Award and was published in 2015 by BOA Editions. Her first book, Black Hope, won the New Issues Press Prize and was published by New Issues Press.