C. McAllister Williams
A fierce little whistle & the oceans have decided
not to be oceans anymore. I grime my lesions
in a rotten peacoat, limp to the leaky
beach. I throat a sickness
dirge, coagulate the mouthfeel.
The waves are gaudy & unkempt,
mumbling something about monsters, something
about eyeless things in their crevices.
A small boy cracks his fishing
pole & delivers to me a collection of scalpels,
motions for my cigar
box full of teeth & tobacco.
His eyes incise a nothing
hole in the water. A cavalcade of rust
funnels out, foaming its weakness
over sand & kneecaps.
The boy scatters teeth
across the coastline, stamping
down each one with leather
& hangnails. I feel
for the place where
my spleen used to be.
He spits & grins, grinds
his hands on the rocks
he has gathered for this moment.
Blood is rendered on his flesh, pooling
on his palms. He takes a finger, dips
it, burns a glyph on my forehead.
A gore rune. A ward against
the water running through us. I feel
parts of myself slip off & go feral.
The boy shuts his eyes. I shut
mine too. I can smell the stink
of this, lethargy & relic. I feel
the water getting warm, warmer still.