on watching a jellyfish cam in a dark room

By: Caroline Stickney

i watch jellyfish billow on the screen like souls floating across skies, their bells blooming as gracefully as bloodstains in bath water, and i reach through the pixels toward some form of salvation, some return that promises in the next life i’ll be something softer, something expansive, wounds bared to moonlight. i imagine how my teeth will look grinning underwater, the hard edges of my body stripping away as the salt scrubs me of all that i remember. i picture how my body will unspool, tendrils grasping and releasing better than my hands ever could, how my heart will beat through my skin, how my limbs will curl like kelp until i’m finally clean.

i think of drifting, of return and return and return, and how in that new body i could be so much more than i am now, surrounded by blue light from faraway water burning holes into this endless night.