OCEANOGRAPHY by Curtis Meyer

She describes Sickle-Cell Anemia as having
schools of trout made out of shards of glass
swimming through her bloodstream; Each brush of their fins
scraping against the inside of a vessel another jagged reminder
that she is a woman made of riptides.

I imagine her body less mermaid, more angry sea
and remember sickles are just overgrown fish-hooks.

God gave man dominion over the beasts of the field,
but still I envision the kingdom beneath her skin an Atlantis;
Playgrounds of clownfish darting between the nooks of her coral reef skeleton.

She is the void that stared up at Noah’s ark;
Boundless pits of fangs and tentacles.
A swirling nest of scales and snapping teeth.

She is no lighthouse.

Her ribcage is held together by a shipwreck.
Her flesh is a mapmaker’s warning
steering sailors clear of the end of the world.

Her heart is a compass rose
Beneath it is inscribed:

Beware all ye who wish
to explore uncharted waters.

There be monsters here.

CURTIS MEYER lives in Winter Park, Florida. His favorite punctuation mark is the semi-colon, and thinks it’s extremely pretentious for anyone to write about their accomplishments in third person. You can find him on Facebook or at his website: www.allpoetry.com/poets/k-dense.

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