‘What I’ll do if she leaves me’ by Cutter Streeby

What I’ll do if she leaves me

I’ll crash my ship into an island,
line my ceiling with its mast.
I’ll become a collector
of wine-bottle letters,
line my eco-friendly walls
with the glass.

I’ll grow a philosopher’s beard,
expound on the sea.
I’ll transcribe every scripture
in a shell’s open mouth.

I’ll romanticize my death
(in front of her of course)
and die fighting a loose Lidia bull
at 5 o’clock in white foam by the sea,
or perhaps my death will be
from anaphylactic shock,
stung to death by the last
roaming pack
of Africanized bees.

Because surely I can’t
go on living?
Keep on walking
the gravel track to my work?

I’ll have to find a pier;
surely, I’ll have to mix and pour concrete,
wait hours while it sets up,
dries around my feet;

then I’ll slit each wrist
with a pearl-handled blade,
and fling my mer-tail to the sea—

then, surely,

surely, my last image will be
of my own blood ribboning
to nothing, unfolding
in heavy blues of the sea—
This poem is forthcoming (Winter 2013) in an anthology of new American poetry: The Great American Poetry Show (Muse Media).
Cutter Streeby was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. He has published poetry and translations in many anthologies and journals including The White Review (UK), Hayden’s Ferry Review, The McNeese Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Cincinnati Review (US), Existere (Canada). He has both Spanish and Thai features published or forthcoming from Modern Poetry in Translation. He is the founder of Versejunkies, the first journal for translation across mediums.