Aquarium

by DeAnna Stephens

Your cerulean called me,
cast me just below the shallows
of your life, which opened
like a sinkhole,
like a wound at your side.
 
In the belly of that hour,
you scuttled among anemone,  
anonymous windows on eternity,
looking for the son
whose palms had framed
the sea dragon, meditating
amid frilled blades—
creature and camouflage breathing—
before a shoal of red-shirted children
finned the boy toward sharks
and dark caverns of strangers.
 
While your boy’s mother,
cigarette hooking her lips,
wavered in the red lure
of an emergency exit,
your son sank from your grasp,
and that glut of aimless panic
swept you into the gape
of a nameless fish, its leviathan
darkness vaster than the mouth,
as endless as the moment
before he found you.
 
Our own darkness confuses
my kisses for sea lace,
renders touch primordial,
as if the eons we never knew
each other had yet to erupt
in the string of islands
we followed to get here.  

© 2019 Helen: a literary magazine