by Teja Dusanapudi


This has not always been our world. The cities with lovers were flooded,
their names cried out in the dark,
floating to sea on beds of fruit and seafoam.

We are as the tide now, or the waves, lying still
and open on the shore, shaped by
this folklore of the deeper waters. We carve
fluid shapes in the stone.

To this, what is a fire, 
but another star to swallow gratefully,
to palm it, feel the heat of skin, as it rolls around in your trenches
or mine. In the forests, which stretch down
to the seafloor, cradling a golden sun,
the kelp are like limbs, are like yours and mine,
are like ours, grown rich and ripe across 
each other’s stomachs. They drift gently
around the curved lips of the benthos,
mingling and entering. The water is sweet and black. What blossoms
in this darkness is no longer our secret. It is ours. Here we let the flesh be the flesh be
the sea. The deepwater
has embraced this body, has embraced your body, the old and
the wrinkled, the hurt, the new, and as it passes
the soft current through your veins,
you breathe in the scripture of the new world,
tattooed onto the scales of your body, or the skin
or the leaves, or the wave. 

This world
has not always been ours.
Flood the cities with lovers.
Cry out their names in the dark.
Float to sea
on beds of fruit and seafoam,
and softly feel the tide.


Writer’s BIO:

Teja Dusanapudi is an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis, studying literature and its structural and thematic representations of the environment. Only in imagining various futures without hesitation can they truly be addressed.