Jan/Feb 2022  •   Poetry

Please Die by Alligator

by Molly Anne Blumhoefer

Please Die by Alligator

dad. i wished for
your little boat to push you
out. like when you drunk slipped
cracked a rib on the bow. but harder

the jaws of your match. the bulging unbelievable
nature of the best beast who would cross-eyed
broken teeth pull you further. the hungry depths.
the lake. the belly. the bottom.
the rest.

because something had undone you into florida.
man legless! roaring moonlit smoke into daylight
and daylight. a ghost stretching sleep into wake
wails at the ceiling. the walls. the unseen. so

it would have been fine if a candid creature
eradicated you fully from the cypress. the dark.
as it growled get out! you never belonged.
i wanted the water to turn you back into

minnesota. to fill your pockmarked face like
glacial water moving memories into empty lakes.
to soak your recollect back under roots of black ash
and tamarack. to flood your lungs. gasp into a
smile. less painful for you. for all of us. but a slow
submerged drift pressed years into

years and years. like how water moves
over water in a river
bed. less and less for
the drain. the mouth.
the bottom.
the rest

of us sank.
clung to your slow
stupid slow dripping
pleads. please be
but be the end.
and stronger
than alligators
like you
we stayed
with you.