1 poem

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

Editor's note: It is not recommended to view this piece on a mobile device due to its unique formatting.

            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

                        devour me

                                    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.

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