Sitting in Bathwater at 1 am – John Casquarelli

As a child, I spent hours in the tub
             playing with dinosaurs, imagining
                          them swimming to islands without
comets or the impacts that life so often
             envelopes on our fragile bodies. No fossils,
                          no future petroleum, just hydrogen and oxygen
feeding illusions. Our programmed neocortex
             in perpetual creation. In water, I can be
                          contradictions, simultaneously at peace and
turbulent. I can be the humpback whale’s song
              traveling miles past fishermen nets to an
                          open current or thunderous waves crashing
on the shores of my fears. Sometimes, when
              I remember my father’s last breath,
                          I wish I could change nature by punching
a wall or the wind. Reconstruct atoms in
               such a way that when the sky weeps,
                          his lungs transform into diamonds or
moissanite, but the heart would remain
                as gentle as the hairs on a butterfly’s wing.
                          Some memories cleanse like soapsuds
on wet skin, some hold you in a petri dish under
                a microscope, and some force you to collapse
                          beneath the aching pressure of the deep ocean.

John CasquarelliJohn Casquarelli is the author of two full-length collections: On Equilibrium of Song (Overpass Books, 2011) and Lavender (Authorspress, 2014). He is a Lecturer in Academic Writing at Koç Üniversitesi in Istanbul and Managing Editor for Lethe. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.