Justin Holliday



No lungs can save me
as I jump from the bridge, break
the surface, which arcs minute razors
in my arms. Spread out

starfish will suffocate.
All cries are non-existent.
It is not suicide
unless someone sees you. No one
ever checks my apartment.

The shore is deserted at five a.m.
They will not be found. I will seek
solitude, sinking among Technicolor swirls, pretending
I rest in a leather body bag—with arms crossed

I am an underwater Dracula.
Eyes bulge, creatures discolor.
A squid shoots its seminal trademark.
I’m dirty. You’re bursting beneath
my ribcage, each atavistic thump

a threat to pull me down farther.
Do sirens’ chests tighten when I drift past,
unconquered? I refuse a token of loneliness
pushed into my palm, this gilded doubloon.

Skeletal hands can’t break my coffin pose.
No charity can defeat me, Only
my deficiencies: loosened nails, livid cheeks,
your de-oxygenated breath. I can’t escape you,
even with toes buried in sunless sand.

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