The Jellyfish


The Jellyfish

The sharp sting heralds
a rush of impending doom.

Blueness of depth gathering,
cloaking the peripherals
of vision, in that vast tightness

the squeeze of blood through
impacted arteries, the hollows
of so much water
so many liquids that float
the body.

It is only chemical, this dread —
poison burrowing and clenching the heart
the way the years amass in late morning
with hours of living to do
until the next tide of sleep

This strangeness of affliction
that is a sea creature’s defense
mechanism —

from the black ocean what
other feelings arise?

A cloud of confusion
over one’s fate — for what
this debilitation?

To soften the struggle,
to walk into the panic of death.

To see with the black tint
of your fellow creature of depth,

have your imaginary gills flood
with liquid of the underworld


© Mabel Lee

Half Moon Bay


Wind spume sand coldness
Of tide tailing my father’s
Bare toes, same as mine

Half Moon Bay, California: watercolor

Coffee Correspondence

photo 1

A postcard sketch: pencil, watercolor, ink