When I’m alone in my room sometimes I stare at the wall, & in the back of my mind I hear my conscience call
me Ishmael. Call me sailor. But not
captain. Call me fishhook. Clean.
Call me multipurpose fish scale
weighing self-obsession. Call me fish
tail in a siren’s silk sheets. Thief
in the night. Buccaneer. Call me
multipurpose fish scale singing
motherfucker, then calling it good.
Call me lukewarm algae eater
upchucked. Call me match head struck
against hollow whale walls. Call me
faith’s phosphorus irritation. The-Bible-
dead-between-Shamu’s-teeth. Call me
freightliner hull hacking through a baby
humpback. Extinct & extinguished. Son
of a slave girl expelled to the desert
for being himself. Call me
miracle. Opposite mirage. Three parts sea
but bountiful land. Call me mangy
pasture. Wild buffalo. Archer. Arrow.
Call me sheared. Call me back
to the shepherd. Call me lamb.