Sea HagYou get in your boat and start rowing.
Your net needs mending, but you don't fix it.
The shore stares back at you in disappointment
and the waves lap against the side of the boat.
Nothing to say.
Nothing to say.
You rest your forehead along the prow.
You catch nothing.
You see a woman floating underneath the surface of the water.
You blink hard and feel the boat tug and pull.
You're moving in a circle now --- slow, steady, guided.
When you open your eyes and look again, there are more women ---
a school of them, underneath the boat, calling to you.
Somehow they know your name.
They tell you to jump.
They tell you your boat will sink.
You dream of an island covered in clover.
It reminds you of the pubic hair you're never allowed to touch.
It's damp and thick.
You see yourself tangled in it, burying your face in its green.
You decide you'll build a house on it.
On this mound.
On this island.
Everyone thinks it's a great idea.
The hot sun wakes you up.
You've never been thirstier.
You're miles from the shore, but you know now that it doesn't matter.
No one liked you in your village.
Your new wife lands noisily on the tiny mast of your boat.
She's got an amazing rack, wings, and a beak.
She pecks your eyes out and carries you over the water.
You tell yourself it's a relief not to see.
She takes you to that island you dreamed about.
She keeps you in a nest, and regurgitates food into your mouth.
You never see the clover, let alone touch it.
And for the rest of your life, you hear the same song over and over again.
Every time she sings it, your heart quickens and your cock gets hard.
She loves me, you tell yourself, she really does.--- Carley Moore
Christian Nagler, Editor