Phobicality: Sea

Phobicality: Sea

This poem
is for all of the
moray eels
in the audience:

Dear moray eels,
I am afraid of you.

I do not spend much time in the ocean
but I spend some time near the ocean
and occasionally I remember
that you’re there also, not too far away.

Sometimes, when I am in the ocean
, I pee a little. I hear that this is not uncommon.
I do not pee in fear of you, o moray eels,
but I pee where you are
and I am in fear of you,
so, retroactively,
I dedicate my urine
to the worry
you incite in me,
moray eels.

Moray eels, you are
skin snakes with muscle necks
you are one long muscle, heck,
with jaws, jaws with tiny teeth
and nose-holes that Lord Voldemort
would find sublime. I fear you,
moray eels, and even when I’m not thinking of you
the fear is somewhere there inside of me
waiting somewhere there to come alive, dormant
in my skin as you are dormant
in the murky depths below,
hiding in your rocks and tunnels,
knowing what only eels know.

I saw a video on Youtube
of a scuba diver feeding you
and petting you on your chin
on your stomach on your neck
(it’s all the same,
you toothy tube of death).
I saw that diver transform you,
moray eel, into a water dog, and I wanted
–in that moment–oh, moray eels–
in that moment I wanted to love you.

Maybe I did, a little bit.

And I feel bad, o eels,
because this poem isn’t very good–
in fact, it’s lousy. What slight rhymes,
what empty images! It’s half letter
and half ode–but full infantile
in its winding.

O moray eels, I fear you
and love that I fear you
because I know
it’s a stupid enough fear to have,
and if that’s the worst I’m up against
then… well… hey.

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