EDGE OF THE MARIANA TRENCH, MIDMORNING

LIZ HARMS

 
 

I stand naked as a jellyfish

wraps tentacles around me

tight, carving flesh channels

 
wonder when I stretch my arms out

to jump if she’s strong enough

to save me her arms are soft

 
like a silk robe slipping

She releases her eggs

without warning they’re floating

 
in front of me wandering

past the edge I reach out

curettes replace my hands

 
too much pressure too much

for new ephyra how do I mourn

a life of only hours I’m lost

 
in her arm’s folds pink fluttering things

gather in her head’s translucent dome

and when I look through it

 
everything is distorted

There are no humans here,
But I’m not alone.
 
I hold scarab beetles in my throat

breathe only through my nose

no scarab beetles in Challenger Deep

 
no morning sun rolls across the trench

I’m the closest thing to Khepri I fear

if I swallow they’ll carve their likeness on my bones
 
and I will forever be reborn.

 

 
 

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