Before, in the antediluvian world
I stood alone, tied to the ocean floor
green or red,
shifting infinitesimally with the waves of the tide.
It was utter dark, blackness.
I couldn’t see out
through the depth and feet of distance,
but I imagined it in my mind:
the mammoth trudging through mud;
the sky a burning fire, a ball igniting the air;
the grasses moving—the slightest breath
of a mouth exhaling over hairs on the skin.
It was dark.
I was long and green and furred,
like an animal’s skin,
though I’d never seen one.
The cold was endless.
A rib-bone, long and white, lay buried
in the silt near the surface.
Melissa Buckheit is a queer poet & translator, dancer, English Lecturer and Bodywork Therapist. Her books include Noctilucent (Shearsman, 2012), and two chapbooks: Dulcet You (dancing girl, 2016) and Arc (The Drunken Boat, 2007). Find her at melissabuckheit.com.