Dakota Gearhart

Sunken Hot House

when I die, will you feed my body to coral?
when I die, you will specify my mission?
will you care? or should I?

you have to come photograph me
oh the sight of being seen
I’m from the other side of the screen
I’m the undersight of the sea

I, a mermaid prostitute
I am a caretaker
I show them the womb immersion
give them the warmth
they arrive with open mouths and soft curious
cameras in hand
tired of their own bodies
peaked by mine
what does it feel like to touch a papilla?
and once inserted can they go back
isn't that the point
to lose yourself and your world
to watch yourself cling to it

life is smothered
and made again with brackish veins
a cut into the surface throat
let yourself be fed and dissolve again
your physicality into a breath
this is what we know
it’s rhythm, it’s anonymity, swallowed, like gulp of water
spit out like selfie stick
see the heaping ghost town for what it once was
stay there, meet?

all abundance
has found its commercial edge
its ability to be ignored is ripe for me
the sanctuary, the labor, the self care cloud
I am a fertility healer
pumping hormones from my nipple to the rock
these electrolytes, this oxytocin, this neighborhood isn’t just a haven for me
but a twisted circulatory system
sagging itself into organic ruins
as a fetish formula
give it a place to rest