Poetry: Deepsea Lizardfish by Noam Hessler

Deepsea Lizardfish
(Bathysaurus ferox), family Bathysauridae, 
Veatch Canyon, off the coast of the NE United States
Photograph via: 
NOAA OKEANOS Explorer Program , 2013 Northeast U. S. Canyons Expedition
The only thing they fear is you.
At the deepest point of the sea sit round, soft animals.
The water swirls, curls ‘round them. On the floor of the sea
You sit — a corpse, fat-lipped, fattoothed. You’re the only one
Collapsed before they dredge you up. The only thing they fear.
Let’s let the deepsea lizardfish step up out of the sea and enter a grocery store.
He collapses — this is true, we dredge him up
With a crane. Help me, will you? It’s hand-operated;
We set him right so 
Now pull the chain that elevates his drying
Dying body upper-
-Uppwards. Dress him, will you? Gingerly
In slacks
A broadbrimmed hat
A pair of funny songs. His broadbrimmed webbed hands.
The only thing he fears is you.
The only thing you fear is him.
He walks through the store and there is music in every aisle.
He drinks the air, like glass does,
Steam coming upp and off his body.
His eyes blackeyes, like that party
At Carrie’s you remember the one. Darkawful, 
You left his teeth like piano keys
And he was bleeding. Slept in my car after. I remember
Your sallow eyes, sharkeyes. Like the old English teacher
The one who, well you know. You threw a punch when 
He failed you. I am seeing your curled form
Fetal and sad in the back of the bathysphere. We are inside
An eye. You were held in all their eyes, the black reflections
Of rum and cokes in solo cups. Dark as the night
In the windows we came through. Fatwet
Flopping things heavy on your shoulders, Goya’s sleep,
You weep, he is writhing in the grocery store,
Webhands, god get them off, get them off. They relent. Whitescaled lizards.
The dark timbre of your voice. The only thing they fear is you.

Noam Hessler is a poet from New England. Hessler's work has been published in Apocalypse Confidential, BRUISER, and DON'T SUBMIT. They are currently a student at Vassar College, and can be found on twitter at @poetryaccnt1518.


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