by Alyssa Wilson
Alyssa Wilson is a seventeen-year-old writer from Hampton, South Carolina. They currently attend the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities as a creative writing student. They have been previously recognized by the YoungArts Foundation, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and the Bennington Young Writers Awards. Their work is forthcoming in Fish Barrel Review.
Whale Falls are the Hottest Restaurants of the Deep Sea
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I saw a video of a whale’s bones underwater,
picked dry by every osedax
that could congregate inside a
skeleton and learned whales
don’t just beach themselves—
body to coast, eyes more prismatic
than stained glass, mouth agape to say
they fall to ocean floors. It takes a century
to decompose, and a whale’s body spends that time
as a habitat for other life.
If I could grow gills/develop a taste
for the cold/handle pressure/keep my mouth shut
long enough to stop treading water,
I’d bring a shovel down to the carcass,
beat off every scavenger, become a sentry,
eat what consumes because there are
too many metaphors for bodies giving.