Needlefish

Lorelei Bacht

1.
Forget ropes helmets / locking carabiners this / is how it is done 
Bodies of water / we swim perpendicular / to the fisherman
Float and fly alike / suspended to the surface / measured in seconds 
Quicksilver-sinewed / we repeat our multiples / over distances
Our mouth of turquoise / intended a razorblade / flashing fast forward

2.
Schooling juveniles / we learn our moves in the cove / darning smaller waves 
A collective loom / weaving gradients of green / into the surface  
After the shallows / we travel uncertainties / gleams of will unhelmed
Taking whip stitches / rollered billowed black and blue / flyweight obstinate
Making a home of / unforeseen diagonals / we sleep between storms

3. 
This is what I see / purple flannels of plankton / awaiting relief
Offered colourful / their feast of physical forms / we resolve in loops
An invisible / contraption of gossamer / holds perils and preys
Reef sharks cuttlefish / an embrace of tentacles / corrects our numbers 
It is what it is / raptorial and edible / caused and consequenced

4. 
I will tie myself / firmly to the rippled warp / of the open sea 
My body shuttle / my words of silence a weft / for plaiting oceans
I am not alone / my brothers flags and beaters / fishnets and crossbows
Our geometries / of circles and parallels / deadly to the krill
This is bravery / to traverse the ocean deep / without belayer

5.  
You crosspiece treadle / you weave you mechanical / needing wood to fly 
We do all of that / naked but knowledgeable / ask the pelican
Lightbulb-excited / we make a sharp spectacle / over your flatboats
Our encounters short / resolved in a broken beak / and a puncture wound
Your father and I / crossing bloods on the starboard / know that we are one 


Lorelei Bacht’s ecopoetic work has appeared in Riverbed Review, Sledgehammer Lit, Feral, SWWIM, Fahmidan, Mycelium and elsewhere. She lives in the monsoon forest. Her closest friend is a tortoise.

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