by Sean Shearer, Boulevard: Issue 100.
I bought a bottle of powdered seahorse pills
at a head shop,
where I haggled the price down
by five dollars, but still paid too much.
I bussed back to my apartment
and googled the subject: twenty million seahorses
ground down each year,
an ounce of seahorse worth more than
an ounce of silver, and I’m glossing over
at least ten other ostensible facts
about seahorse powder.
Later I read of the fish—
struck by their courtship rituals
it’s no wonder these pulverized creatures,
crammed into capsules, parade
their residual affection
as they course through the bloodstream
of men with little libidos.
I could paraphrase
from what I gathered on Wikipedia,
however, the paragraph
on seahorse courtship alone is a poem itself:
“When the female’s eggs reach maturity,
she and her mate let go
of any anchors and drift upward,
of the seagrass, spiraling as they rise.”
I’m now obsessed with seahorses.
There’s so much beauty in them
and the word seahorse.
I like that I can spell seashore
I like to picture the word seahorse swimming
too quickly, the letters rearranging
and letting go of the o, where it drops to the seafloor.
The word now spells hearses.
I like to think that each one
of these gelatin capsules
carrying these seahorses
are hearses. I fill a glass of tap water
from the kitchen sink,
place three hearses on my tongue,
and tow them into another sea.