It’s taking my entire life   to break open
like a coconut   against this world’s bluff

   When I empty quick   as myself at last call
it’s not the spaced stools   I forget
but the laws of gravity & conduct   slow
as the grace of rupturing nests   splurging spores 
of sea turtles   & miniature waterways

   As if God dropped her pearls   just to give face
to proliferation   (& we all feel the fisher’s hook   
in already troublesome sandbars   like arm’s length
fashioning us one grain at a time)   & we all know 
the dangers   of this bestiary food chain   
consuming umbilicus & all

   Well I guess this is the living   I was warned of
wincing at peroxide’s talk   of psychology 
& algae   chasing me around the kitchen table   
with tweezers   I mistook for a hungry beak

   Given enough minutes   I sculpted a moat   
against ghost crabs & aerial assaults   & accidentally 
everything else

   My body’s become a skipping stone   stationed 
in a chest   of drawers   painted into the fib of all these
needlepoint stars   although I’m also down here 
with my schematics   on helium   & trajectories   
& what it’d take   to levitate like the moon   swimming    
what I imagine   as the ocean imagining ocean   
uncollapsible as invisible infinite   

Ethan Phibbs is a poet born in central Illinois. His verse has appeared in Heartwood Literary Magazine, Unbroken Journal, Eunoia Review, and elsewhere.