The bottom of the sea

This morning, I was in an old tan truck with my father, driving on the bottom of the ocean only all the water had receded so it looked more like a sea green ruin. The road was opals. The median dried up tide pools. He kept telling me to drive around the anemones so I wouldn’t crush them under the tires. Off in the distance, rocks protruded like spiked helmets from the floor, but pointlessly protected the creatures’ lifeless shells.

We got out of the truck to fill the gas and witnessed a man in a purple horse suit being attacked by a mountain lion. Somehow the lion’s attention diverted to me and he sped and leapt at my neck, spinning me around as I sprayed him with gasoline. By the time he was in front of me I had the gas nozzle shoved down his throat and he nursed the poison like a kitten. I watched his tongue curl around the metal knowing that what he thought was sustenance would inevitably kill him.

This morning is a strange one. I’m in a bit of a trance. Outside, the weather feels darkened, but when I look up the sky is flawlessly blue. The buildings cast shadows. Sometimes, in the right light, the buildings refract light like a jewel until the whole street is angled diamonds. But not today, not now.
For the last few days I’ve listened to an old man out on his balcony spitting up his lungs. He doesn’t want to suffer alone, so the whole complex can hear the phlegm and tissue he expels. It reminds me of living in Texas, the same old man, below me coughing alone.
Part of me wants to leave this place already, disappear and live in a hut on the beach. Open a bar with Pat in Mexico – I could cook and he could brew. We could sleep to the world’s white noise and live on the water’s edge looking out at a sea no one has been able to explore fully.
I think I know what I need to write next, but it’s long and complex and I worry my poet brain doesn’t have the stamina or the attention span. And also I’m scared. Which is exactly why I need to write it. Isn’t that strange that writers grow to know fear as an omen? That fear is where our truths hide?

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