"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.

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