Jellyfish

Jellyfish

A mist that stands around the bay

Like a herd of white pigs above a silver trough.

                                                                 The town has been enclosed by the sea

                                                                   That turns fluently into the sky

                                                  Like the upward curve of a bubble.

 

 

When I look at it, I feel dizzy.

 

Feet are numb in clear, Scottish sea,

                      the tiny shoals of invisible fish

                                                          Swim nearby.

                                    The light catches them,

   x-raying their transparent bodies, Purple:

A squiggle of brain visible.

 

I encounter the jellyfish in the shallows.

                       He sits, a bulbous contact lens, or

                      The glass of a giant’s eye,

Blinking with the foam.

 

                                                         A wink.

 

                                     I call it a ‘him,’

                                trying to recall

                        animal, heart, lungs,

                           Blood into the gelatinous lump he has become.

                                                   Without his ethereal legs and stings

               He doesn’t trail but merely scoots along the tideline,

a shell.

 

                                                                                                      ‘Some jellyfish are eternal.

                                                                                           ‘They don’t have a natural death,

                                                                                                                They just continue.’

 

Part of me wants to stab it through the centre

        With a pointy stick,

                  To see if it would burst like a pimple

                            Or a water balloon,

                                                                                             but why bother?

 

Whatever fills it is clear, a liquid of nothing,

And would rush away into the froth, poison into salt.

 

                                                                                                               I am sickened a little,

                                                                         and I wonder if it were possible that a jellyfish

                                                                                                           Might know it were old.

 

They are creatures close to clockwork,

                   their brains and knotty capillaries

                                             Open observatories.

 

 

Raising questioning eyes to the skyline,

 

                                                                  I debate whether or not I should bury the jellyfish.

 

 

                                        A message might come from out of the sea.

 

 

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