• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 03
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A Land Emergent

Dolphins caress my inner thighs
with velvet-slick skin while sea otters
and seals slide in riots down my shins
to dive blind into lilac-scented water.

Schools of shy fish idle in the concave
depths of my armpits while. eels spiral
my wrists in silver bands of light.

Faint with steam and weightless in the tub,
I slide my foot along the smooth enamel basin.
My leg bends and emerges into the cool air.
A bony island redoubt, my knee juts
above the surface, waves breaking all around me.

I gather the world, flesh bounded by water and air—
an archipelago risen
from the depths
a clustering of protuberances
in an aquatic sphere.

Upon the promontory of my thigh
a sister mermaid reclines,
tail fins stirring the bluish, soapy bath.
A song slips wet from her lips to coil
damp and heavy along my limbs.


A Land Emergent

I am a land submerged, alive
with kinetic power, mother
of cataclysmic births and rebirths
maker of shores, cliffs, and entire continents
teased by the fluttering undercurrents
of whale songs and corral dreams.