after “Clams” by José Angel Araguz
Living in the desert in the southwest
US, it was easy to imagine being
underwater, the cacti with their
strange clumped fragility as coral,
the phosphorescent scorpions akin
to shrimp with venom, rattlesnakes
twisted into turbans were sleeping
eels: when startled, they’d emit
an audible electric crackle and hairs
on my forearms would stand to full
attention like in a lightning storm.
The blossoms of claret cups would
close and open as clouds and sun
alternated passage. Air was water.
The fish were there, invisible,
transparent, but when active, they
would release small bubbles as
they nibbled, ones I could sense
and sometimes see as droplets on
my skin. I’m still not sure how many
meters of water were above me, how
far beneath the surface I was then.
Laura M Kaminski (Halima Ayuba) grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in rural Missouri. She is an Editor at Right Hand Pointing and the author of several chapbooks and poetry collections, most recently Dance Here (2015, Origami Books, an imprint of Parrésia Publishers Ltd in Lagos, Nigeria) and Considering Luminescence (2015, available from Amazon in e-book and print formats).