Illustration: photo of brain coral digitally manipulated to resemble close-up on bioluminescence

dissolved shadows never had much to say

when i was a child, i did not know the symmetry
of emptiness, how it spreads like the moon in

cyclic languor, refracting in every reflection. i dip
my palms into the water, cerulean blooming beneath

fingertips, auroras flaring with the birth of new
wounds. i urge salt to seep into skin, cresting

every cell with hypertonic stillness. desaturated
suns drying limbs and hanging sinew to rot by the

shoreline — flesh that seabirds pluck and pick, their
feathers glistening with the last halos of day. this is

a confession that i yearn escape, to bathe in the glow
of detonation. an elegy for surrender. for when i mourn

the child who never came home, i mean that
i want bioluminescence to scintillate my organs

and algal blooms to wash my body clean of
hollowness. i mean that i want eclipses to feast on

my bones and oceans to flower in every sunken cavity.
i mean that night falls as soon as i do, and i remain

in a graveyard of bleached reefs, laced in
sun-colored decay, lanterns drowning in light.

Laura Ma is a young writer from California. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the Pollux Journal, The Lumiere Review, The Aurora Journal and elsewhere. At midnight you can find her exploring aesthetics and wishing that it would rain. Find her on Twitter @goldenhr3.

Illustration by C.B. Auder.

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