The Lungfishes by Jesse Mitchell

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The Lungfishes

by

Jesse Mitchell

 

I. And the ice floe became endemic, because the water was cold

    And it was thin

    And it spread everywhere, all around.

    Standing in the backroom of a noisy petshop, waiting to drown,

    Imagining Cocteau, a film (a shimmer) on the storefront window

    Orpheus: Le Sang d’un Poete

    As the rain came down.

    Leaving dirty streaks in the dust, dusty streaks in the dirt.

II. And composition suggests death.

     The boundaries are set and they are smooth.

     The periphery is set and it  is smooth.

     It is a casket-aperture to let in the light,

     Because life needs random.

     Because vitality is chaos.

     And all we see are borders

     Fill them in, fill them in, we fill them in, fill them in.

III. And then it all gets old, it gets old

     And all you have left is bones and soul, bones and soul.

     The cars idling in the streets,

     The roar of engines

      The clouds of smoke.

IV.  “Greetings and welcome to Jaipur.”

      The bathroom smelled like soap, old ratfaced brown towel hung over the railing.

      All the way back to Earth, were lines, full spectrum  bright lines, like sunglare, lines streaking back.

      Trusting the burst behind them, the rushing crushing transfer of light, the blur between them,

      Weaving around them, the dangerous-shaking shapechanging

      building images in my mind, the images my mind will come to commit to memory, outrageous

      namecalling, tracking mud through the room, confused feeble little mind,

      The last second reflection of light (fluorescent) in a passing by mirror, sheen of the glass, corner of

      an eye.

V.   And don’t ever be afraid, there is nothing to fear.

      And don’t ever be ashamed

      Of what it takes to get back home again.

      Busted blind, or deaf and lame,

      All the bended bent outside in, dim lit,

      Rushing rivulets away,

      To get back home again.

VI. Lungfishes

      Lungfishes

      Amphibian reptilian paraphyly

      Air-filled-lungs, expanding gills, words falling out of ash like scales off of eyes.

      Plague, pulque, fire, flood, and gramophone.

VII. and we sat in schools, in little classrooms, bounded in by glass, bounded in by glass.

       And we listened,

       James Fenimore Cooper, Max Planck, the dreadful XYZ affair.

       Have mercy.

       The devils on us that hide in every subject, behind every pause.

       Deconstruct the clause, graph the sentence out.

IIX. Fire-pimps that hide behind the tinder.

       Lightning-skies that hide behind the storm.

       Reckless are the curtains torn, the rattle of the steel.

       The storms behind the clouds

       And this is what the tuhunder says as it begins to pour,

       Rushing rivulets, rivulets away.

IX.  Dans cet abime, abondance.

X.    and the fire became endemic, it was far too hot,

       The blood so warm and the skin so flushed,

        And the rain come spilling out.

       The noise so quiet and the light so bright,

        The visions so blurry, the lines so static, the colors so fade.

        Fill them in, fill them in.

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