Cat Dixon


In the submarine, we travel across
this sea. The views out our cabin window—
terrifying and dark—introduce us to a new
world. I had suggested a cruise, but you—
all heavy and congested—insisted that
we go under, travel deep, sink. I only
have one carry-on filled with floatation devices.
Are we safe in this tomb? Are we dense? Are we
the type of people to attempt underwater
connections? Let’s find out. The water
that laps the shore claps back. Surely
we are the descendants of fish. All bubbles
make their way to the sky. Like a cloud,
I’m releasing tears, rumbling, ruining. I’m
sorry I can’t love you back like the sea does.
I was submerged once, years ago, and I never
got back to land. My lungs are still filled with
you and your words and these branches. I’m
fired and replaced—another vessel destroyed.
I’m leafless and burned. You’re green and seasick.
Sorry, sorry, I gurgle as the water trickles in. You and
I climb the ladder to the head—I don’t want to go. I’ve
never lived alone. A week ago the surly captain
called in sick and the crew abandoned their posts.
You are the salt water that stings my cankers, the flush
after I finish, the tiny leeches that cling to my flesh.

Cat Dixon (she/her) is the author of Eva and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016, 2014) and the chapbook, Table for Two (Poet’s Haven, 2019). Recent work of hers is published in Harpy Hybrid Review and Stanchion. She is a poetry editor at The Good Life Review.

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