Half Mile Down
by Michael Ryan
My sick heart and my sick soul
I’d gladly fasten in a bag
and drop into an ocean-hole
to float in darkness as a rag.
Would it learn to make its light?
Maybe in a million years.
A million years of constant night
in which it can’t stop its fears
flaring their nightmare tentacles
and bioluminescent eyes
as cold and sharp as icicles
under moonless, starless skies:
medusae, spookfish, cephalopods,
jellies with no eyes or brains,
lethal and beautiful as gods,
locked in endless predation chains.
How seamless then the world would seem,
which life on earth never did,
the living water like a dream
crowded with prowling vampire squid
that want only to stay alive
among other monsters innocent
of all but the pure drive to survive