If the best love poems have a little darkness, how far down can I go? Thousands of feet? The coelecanth is near, but it’s too easy — the metaphor nettable and clear, the lost link found, the beginnings of our own bones in its pelvic fins — and I want to write about love with depth to hold the unverifiable, the oarfish that survives with half its body gone. I want it to hold the giant squid no one has seen alive, strong enough to scar sperm whales; sailors have claimed its tentacles unfurl from the night’s water, taking down their mates. But can such poems survive these confused witnesses? Can they handle the scanty evidence that surfaces: the mottled sick and dead, the night-feeding viperfish impaling victims with fangs at high speed, its first vertebra designed to absorb the shock? And how much horror can this poem sustain before you forbid me to say some call this love, the hagfish that bores into the unsuspecting body, rasping its flesh from inside out? Am I making you uncomfortable? The pressure at these depths could crush a golf ball. Are you cold? Or is it enough to be awed by the blue- green photophores of the lantern fish, the brief and brilliant light displays? What the lights say: I want you. Not so close. I am moonlight; I am not here. I would eat you raw — tell me if you want me to stop.