An Ocean of Mad

Our love was vivid and real, a rare dream. You terrified me
like a shark in a movie. I was stupid enough to think
it was possible. You’ll be safe if you don’t look, I thought.
You had no special powers, yet saved me every day.
You wanted everything to be for the first time. But
sometimes being quiet is essential, the only essential thing.
As close as you were, you were often hard to see. I hated
everyone but you. Later our incompatibility was as obvious
as rain, but at the time it seemed everyone was as complicated
as everyone else. Must all my imperfections be dramatized?
I coined you. I was like a bug in a jar. We kissed for hours.
I laughed until I was sick and then went back for more. But
things float away. You were programmed to annihilate me.
You were a lesion on my insides. Our romance was epic,
interminable. You slept right through me. We were going
the wrong way. Things we did should be illegal. But I only
felt normal when I was near you. Fixated on your anatomy,

I was a shallow oil-slicked puddle and you were an ocean of mad.

by Ken Cenicola and Jessy Randall

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Ken Cenicola and Jessy Randall have known each other since about 1990. Their collaborations have appeared in Pilgrimage, Press 1, Robot Melon, and Stirring.

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