"Collective Invention" by Taylor Brunson
René Magritte, 1934
As far as the eye can see, sea trying
its luck. Jellyfish turning over
like glassy coins, landing. Heads, tails,
and what a shore becomes
when the sea sinks its teeth in, foaming
at the mouth. A new kind of siren,
I need not call. The boats arrive
whether I bid them to or not. Here,
the fantasy: how I might be both
your beach and the body splayed
in the surf, trophied with one glassy eye
silvered in its turn to the sun.
Isn’t this what you hoped for? How I might
receive you, sun breaking on my hip’s
horizon? No, no, my love. Fear not the hulls
shattering on the shore, the sea and I
swallowers alike. All the usual jaws
and those deeper: viperfish, eel,
osedax, angler. Miles of mouths
above them. I am gaping for you.
I am the woman you wanted me to be.
Taylor Brunson is a poet living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her work has recently been featured in Non.Plus Lit, The Daily Drunk Mag, perhappened, and Dwelling Literary. She serves as an assistant poetry editor for Four Way Review and an assistant nonfiction editor for Nashville Review. Taylor can be found on Twitter, @taylor_thefox.