Monogamy Song

IT IS OUR FACE behind this mask. We rose and bowed its lurid head. It’s an invention, needs to be invented. Let’s say you and I walk out on the shore for a while. Now I will say: We get along well together don’t you think? Things will get complicated. We’ll have to sort them out.
WE STOOD ALONG THE PIER and dipped toes in the crystal blue water of evening. A whale appeared at our feet; its eye reminded me of the life I lived as petrified wood, when I was shattered by lightning during a storm in the middle of the night, and ended up like this, beside you.
THE WATER FLOWED OVER ME in the sensory deprivation tank. I touched my hands together; they felt like teeth. Suddenly the tank dropped through a drain in the ground, and I was an otter. I held an abalone in my clawed fingers, pried it open and ate. Once she walked through the door, she knew she had a chance; and though we had plans to go to the circus, she opened up the bathroom door with its large shower, and began to unbutton my shirt. I didn’t resist. I began to sing, and as she howled I held her.
MYELIN SHEATHS were tiny fatty tissues wrapped around nerves to propel thoughts through canals. Thoughts were tiny chemical structures cast out from that shore toward the distant dock. She took my lower lip between her teeth and gently pulled, while we lay on the lido deck of the cruise liner. My coach told me I was a bit slow on the up-take, and laughed. Don’t look back, he said. That is what will scare you.

Scott Riley is currently a MFA student in poetry at St. Mary’s College of California. He earned a BA from UC Berkeley in 2008 with a degree in rhetoric, and for the past three years has worked as a literacy instructor at Maxwell Park International Academy in Oakland, CA. In addition to writing, he enjoys playing music, running, and spending time with his fiancée. He’s also been known to read a book or two.