after Rabelais

The tide being out, I traipsed through dehydrated eelgrass
and the chopped warm salad of the shallows, and then
the Atlantic breached me part by part.

If my knees knocked it was two flints striking
My skin shagreen
My thorax a corset compressed rib by rising rib
My fingerprints finely-carved trilobites of the shore
My fine motor skills as good as any butterwort’s
My nailbeds pale flukes: lemon soles or witches
My blood a thick slow scrawl of crude
A raw kebab my vertebrae strung on the spinal cord
My throat a maypole for eel-grass
My retinas red rags to bulls
My nose and ears sympathetic remora
My pigtail a withered stipe or shaw
My moles and freckles rising spores
My sweat-glands like mud-buried lugworms
My friendly bacteria Vichysoisse
My urine a strong hot tisane
My tongue and lips sweetmeats seasoned by an infinite cruet
My sphincter the knot in a balloon poodle
My brain-pan a shovel of quenched ash
My cerebellum a baitball

If seals mobbed the shallows it was only for my liver
If my kidneys complained it was Bert and Ernie
If I floated it was spatchcock, trussed on the rack of the swell
If I expressed myself it was liquids and vowels
If my knuckles were cracked it was for their rich marrow
My pituitary a pair of repelling magnets
My name sticks and sinking stones
My musculature like dispersing cirrus
My children a cloud of clumped alfabeti
My mouth a burst ripe vacuole