Bull kelp coast

Evana Bodiker

Oregon — winter 

With my back to the shoreline, I tiptoed around what seemed to me 

a biological rarity: just mounds of it, ouroboroses tackle piled           

over each other. I thought a giant’s heart broke 

       and he, incapable of telling organ from beating nucleus,       

ripped out his intestines instead. Waited for the brackish

perfume to leak from it, nothing but salt air seeping 

out of the gumminess, Greek for mermaid’s bladder

the plates of spaghetti smeared with butter and fake                               

cheese we ate in August not yet making money 

and performing penny-tight penance to pay  

for our apartment, then—and still—a luxury 

item. I guess I’m wondering if we will ever hold jobs                            

that don’t kill us or make a mockery of our night lives 

or if we like that giant now floating in the Pacific,

all dead weight and jellyfish stung, 

will self-dissect and leave our extractions      

on some beach for rich tourists to nudge

with their feet and see if there’s a jump scare.   

Evana Bodiker is a poet living in Boston. Her chapbook Ephemera, winner of the Robert Phillips Poetry Prize, was published in 2018 (Texas Review Press). Evana’s poems appear or are forthcoming from Sonora Review, The Oyez Review, Noble / Gas Qtrly, LEVELER, and elsewhere. In the fall, she will begin her MFA candidacy at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.