There is a point just off the continental shelf
where you live in fear
of reaching crush depth. Whether
Pelagic, or Oceanic, Kursk
or Thresher – the fear weighs
as much as midnight
and freezing. But, surfaced,
all zero point one
seconds of bioluminescence
bring life to the lungs again. How do you
learn to breathe when the air
is sparse and weighted?
– Aaron Kent
What is the color when black is burned?
What is the color?—Neil Young
I wish I were lying,
telling fibs in the iron belly of il terribile Pesce-cane
to my dear frantic Babbo Geppetto
who will never let go of hoping to plumb me,
sift me, dragnet, land me, and fetch me.
I’ve been here before,
in the mouth of old stars sentenced to sip
gravity’s hemlock, crunching iron
at the core, dislocating their gears,
marring the void with a drifting nebula
of egg-blown hope.
Oxygen clings to the capsized iron life rafts
in my frantic blood.
Ah, Geppetto, loyal fellow, fetch another length of wood.
I’m down here for good, banging on the womb
of La Fata Turchina.
I cannot tell a lie.
– Simon Barraclough