Watcher on the Dock

J.T. Carlton

Only dead fish, indeed.
I fight the stream,
Kicking, but weak,
Noodles for legs,
And my arms are useless,
My mouth is gone,
But the slits on my neck
Breathe fine,
Thank goodness for those.

I’m sitting on a dock,
Holding a rod,
Watching this slimy fiend
Writhe up from the sand,
Emerging like a U-boat,
Dripping silt and seaweed,
Pink rubbery flesh
Stained red with clay.
I scream. I’m the only one that hears.

I’m standing in shallow water,
Bubbling around my ankles,
Naked and covered in river muck.
The slits on my neck meld
And a hole opens below my nose,
Widening until I can wrap my teeth
Around the watcher on the dock,
And I swallow him whole,
Not realizing what I’ve done.

This is what darkness feels like:
It’s wet and rough, and it echoes
If you put your lips to it and scream.
Some oily film…

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