Before the moon, there was Neptune.
And before that, one giant sky rock took
a bite from another, spitting in anger—
a wet thud went to Earth who, spinning
too close, caught a bit of sponge in her teeth...
First it was Florida, coastal erosion, part of
nature’s normal cycle, they said. Then, a third
of California and it happened quick. Santa Barbara
went underwater in one week and from here
you can just make out the top of several Subarus
sunning their backs in the water like snapping turtles.
Some say that late at night, thousands of mermen come,
drowning the vehicles like Oreos in milk,
softening them up—which is why they’re gone
come morning. I mean, softening them up to feed her,
Mother Sponge—that’s what the locals call her—
but I think it’s just the water rising and the land
shrinking, crowding people out, that’s got them
spinning stories…. It’s not like the movies.
No screaming ladies clutch one hand
to the last slice of land, legs dangling.
Actually, they are in their beds
when the water whelms like a wet blanket,
rolls over. It is not dark—her bright is blinding—
at the bottom she opens her mouth,
immense eraser, and starts over.