Antediluvian Memory

Melissa Buckheit



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).