He Tears His Hair and Asks Me What I Want

Not much. Only everything.

Not much. Only everything.

Clouds to creek, hollow to
mountains, wren to
eagle, snails to
stars—greenness to
the cosmos. Peak,
give ground. Wind
to all other things, down
your song, down
my spine. Down, beneath
and beyond and
without all such words
as immensity and eternity
and howl.

I want to be tragic as glacial
melt, bitter as silk, a boreal
sky, a river of lives, a listening
bosom. I want not to be
fangless. I want to be
somebody, anybody unbound
by her own myth. I want
you not as an intruder in my
broken waterlock, but as my
recluse in the desert, my
nomadic bellbird—a megaphone
to the final tuning-fork of life
and truth.

I would be the milkyway-skinned
whale—flair, dappled power, austere
need. You are gorgeous—gauntly,
inhumane. This evisceration is
a perfect simulacrum of what you
don’t dare dream you’d do to me—
dismemberment under slow,
benign authority. A keen
survivalist, your bony anatomy
straitened to one bureaucratic
purpose—ironic, when facing
your animality.

I want to lean with you over
the protean mirror ever-spuming
beneath the bridge, and show you how
you’re asymmetric, liminal—rooted
in a time when androids still tried
to evade full incorporation in humanity’s
humanity. You are a timeless aura, a
singularity in a chasm of distance—your
extraordinary essence the sum of your
detached emptiness, while your
character is its own unsounded
depth. And I want to dive to your
kelp-tressed, petrified bed and rise
with the pearl of your precious
reputation caught in my
gleaming baleen.

© 2020 by Clarice Hare

About the Author

By Clarice Hare

Clarice Hare grew up in the rural Midwestern U.S. and bounced around a fair bit before settling in Florida, where she currently lives with an assortment of furry and scaly pets. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Datura, SurVision, South Florida Poetry Journal, Gone Lawn, Arsenika, Menacing Hedge, Neologism, Ethel Zine, and elsewhere.