A View West Across the Bay

a story for Oakland

Sharp teeth of ships afloat in the harbor. We are long-legged gods come to earth, to pile Ossa upon Pelion, to dispose as we have always done. A spider’s thread above a fire. Jeremiah, speak close, and listen: in the wailing of our joints, hear the owls crying still for Edom.

Long our bones and mighty. We are content to stand and watch, but one day we shall stir ourselves to graceful swaying life. Ezekiel weeps in the dust, sores running down his side, choked on heavy bread; we shall lift our heads and behold. Widows and orphans.

And thus skyward: all of heaven captured and held in our towers. Our hairs strung between buildings, our capillaries threaded through the roofed-over earth. In the tunnels the ocean wash of our unsettled blood. Osiris, pent in his coffins, member sunk deep in the sea. Amphitryon’s second son.

Kings of pigeons, queens of gulls, duchies of rats. An empire of busy decay. We do not sit in state in our brother court, but respect his plenipotent might. Three lots were cast, for sea, for sky, for earth, and we have all come to earth. Sharp the teeth afloat in the harbor, and cracked the skull of the sky; we are long-legged and mighty. Know our works, and despair of our glory.