Triplewart Seadevil

                                          Cryptopsaras couesii

 

Down in the body-lit night-sodden sea,

somber, sub umbra, I’m this tiny restless

inchling, a mere appendage, a would-be

 

hanger-on. Dimorphic nub-end, destined

to be a rudder attached to some underside.

I blunder the deeps—I nose around for

 

this blubbering fish out of Bosch, mega-

mouthed she-goblin, face flush with cicatrix,

visage like the dehisced petals of a rose.

 

I give her my slobbering heartbalm, my brain-

milk, my id & my will, a latecomer who stumbles,

who sleep-talks an epilogue, out of his depths,

 

while auras swim through my skull; all my life

—short as it is—I have searched for this

caruncled giantess, this alluring hulk, her utter

 

flesh darkened a beauty-marked mole. I taste

her ripe spinules. My little jaws gawp & hold

her, molting their teeth, the brink of me un-

 

slurries & folds, pickles in her brine, dis-faced

with pincher-like denticles in pure unbecoming,

bound tight, dreamfast & identical, made one

 

with my host, flooding my stuff in her tissue,

gutting out the mere self, poor serf I once was:

lost in oceans of laboring blood, a single pulse,

 

among a brood filled with germ, each milting

away, milked of their gunk, ceded as seed, as

spume spent by whims of her luminous sweep.

Will Cordeiro has work appearing or forthcoming in Agni, Best New Poets, Cimarron Review, The Cincinnati Review, DIAGRAM, Poet Lore, Sycamore Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. Will is the winner of the 2019 Able Muse Book Award for Trap Street, forthcoming in 2020. Will co-edits Eggtooth Editions and currently lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.