by Adam Moorad
Vinyl records and 8-track tapes now made my roof and its shingles. In the eves were evacuated nests, congested with silt and sand. My brother was out there someplace. I’d been waiting for him since rain started and started picking my scalp with some strange dependence – so hard, in fact, scabs formed horns in my temples. Later, my fingers would uproot them, leaving holes so deep I could touch my brain when it itched. Everything made me hungry. The clouds. The surge. Its saline odor. There was no more cereal in the sunken downstairs pantry. The cabinets were submerged too. Ducks laid eggs in the sink but eels ate them overnight. I was a subject to sound: quacks, sirens, moans. I stuck a needle to the roof and rowed it slow in circular revolutions. From my throat, some kind of singing – someone else’s voice – made its way out. I tried to place the noise but couldn’t. I skulked through the bedroom in tides in baffled orangutan cartwheels, throwing mollusk shells at bobbing gasoline canisters, trying to sink them for sport. I hammered tacks into the ceiling and hung what was left of the tables and chairs. In them I sat, wrapping my head tight in saran to keep the leeches from hearing what I listening for. Beavers dammed the driveway with automobiles and telephone poles. Their spawn filled what was once the front yard, chirping, filling the air with barmy rodent chatter. I could hear them festering in the slop from my attic where I sat, missing the smell of dry dirt – the feel of it beneath my feet. I missed the worms inside it, juicing, spurting sappy from my mother’s flowerbeds. The flood was inside me also. Submerging all my organs. Waterlogging my bones. My teeth had softened. And deeper, in my marrow, was something else – something heavy that I knew would never float. Then other fingers sprouted between my fingers. Webbed everything spread in blood-vesseled sails around my body. Something was washing me. Frothing salty suds all over. I felt strange minerals calcify, fusing to my skeleton. The house groaned like a sick whale. Its barnacled clapboards snapped. The trellis sunk and became sponge. My brother was on his way home still, I believed. I’d see him before I would see the grass again. I’d wait to see if he found dry land. If not, I’d make him hear. I’d blow air back into his lungs. We’d wait for a while. Play old records beside the chimney. Skin chips of brick on the water’s skin. The rain would cease, or it wouldn’t. The neighborhood would one day surface.
Adam Moorad’s writing has widely appeared in print and online. He is the author of The Nurse and the Patient (Pangur Ban Party, 2009), Prayerbook (wft pwm, 2010), I Went To The Desert (Thunderclap Press, 2010), Oikos (nonpress, 2010), and Book of Revelations (Artistically Declined Press, 2011). He lives in Brooklyn. Visit him here: adamadamadamadamadam.blogspot.com.