Box JellyFish

March 22, 2020

Box Jellyfish

I could have gone anywhere.
That was the beauty of it.
Engines roared into the sky,
contrails crisscrossing like needlepoint across the blue,
But me, I dug my toes into the dirt,
and I inhaled.
Oxygen dizzy, swollen up with possibility,
my mind uncupped its hands
and revealed the precious memory
that sat like a small, fat pebble
in the center of its palm.
The aquarium janitor, pushing his mop back and forth,
Swish, swish, swish,
and the cotton-stuffed silence that
weighed heavier than the dark.
My mother’s face,
kissed electric blue,
as she told me to,
“Look, Darling! Look! See how they swim!”
The Box Jellyfish, alien visitors from an unknown galaxy,
Opening and closing like the pumping chambers of a heart.
Graceful and purposeless,
the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
Their coiled, spiral tendrils trailing them
like mermaid’s hair,
like the lace of a dress.
I really could have gone anywhere,
That was the beauty of it.  
But my mind took me there,
back to the aquarium,
my hand held tightly in my mother’s grip,
to the day we saw the Box Jellyfish.


  • Reply Tonya Fowler March 28, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Lovely…a moment suspended in memory and time

  • Reply Amanda January 4, 2021 at 6:11 am

    That was beautiful.

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