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C. McAllister Williams  




            Wine Dark 



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.











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