The Water Chapter

by Randall Tyrone

“But water’s wider… than blood” – Aldous Huxley

Today was cloudier than usual:
than the usual falls in Washington,
than the usual winters in Seattle,
than the afternoons in our habitat.
She and I live in our uncertainty. I don’t believe
the sky will break or the clouds will part.
They’ve been sewn together for what
I feel are millennia. Will I know
if the sun rose today?

Behind me, the tub’s open mouth spews
a waterfall; steam is being born.
The sedative bottles ring half hollow
in plastic harmonics. I took those
and a bath to give equilibrium
to the firing geyser I call
my heart or my soul.
I hoped some time in there would
relieve or clear them: the sky and my mind
…giving reprieve. Although
I’ve passed through the stages of activity,
I’ve entered post-affliction.

I can’t feel.
Steam flows from my skin
creating the visible air seen at dawn in fields.
I am immersed and give way.

I fear my world is shifting.
Not like the breaking up of Pangaea
by the envious water world making us
as we are, but like the shifting
tectonic plates, holding my small
together, have given way to the unseen.


We are propelled after every bump
against furnishings and walls, each crash
making us denser and elevating us
to cloud. Then floating into jet streams,
composed of chemical imbalances,
moving us into the living room
and we rain.

Trickling to the floor—
desperate for osmosis, I pool
onto the shag
covering but my moisture is my own.
I remain there—stagnant—
forming a hollow in the soft
rug, a lagoon.

I am soon discovered;
She comes inquisitive,
but anxious and ready to scoop,
Or dam, me
should I seep
through the cracks between her
fingers. Then, the need for
the laying of hands upon
the man found lying.

She turns me over and I can’t hear
her, only the rising and collapsing
of plummeting bubbles in tub water
echoing through caverns of my ears.

I asked her to, “Please, just lie with me
on this. Yes, this.
The item that came
with our apartment but
we’ve bought six times over in rent.”
She told me, “Your heart’s leaking
water colors on the air’s canvas.
Leaving me to interpret what I see with what I hear.”

(A pause)

“Your mind is malignant.” My eyes become
cloudy, like looking through a waterfall; I imagine
a sympathetic face on the other side.

On the shelf,                   at the sight of me,
the eyes covering The Great Gatsby turn
like faucets birthing torrents from a single stream.

MichaMcCain, Uncertain Conditions

Michael McCain, Uncertain Conditions

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