“The Last Expedition” by Michael Bazzett

Michael Bazzett


When you settled in the soft silt
of the bottom

you were on your back
looking up through the wavering

water toward the light
and something happened

to your eyes: they grew
solid as the river

stones that line the bank.

Damn, you said,
when we pulled you

dripping from the water,
I can’t see. I can’t

see at all.
We laid you on the nubbled

deck of the pontoon,
your sodden clothing

wrapping you so tight
your nipples

pushed like fat thorns
through your shirt

and you kept saying
in a calm voice:
I’m blind. I’m completely

blind. We did not
notice the gill-slits

until later
when you began

convulsing on the deck
the thorns grown

into fins
your body one long

muscle as you
flexed and writhed

until you shook
yourself into the green

current and were

from Rattle #40, Summer 2013


Michael Bazzett: “I write poems because I’m curious about where they’re going to go.” (web)

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