naiad's requiem

by

Natalia Queenan

this august dragonflies come
together in imperfect circles
when the water is low i watch them
skim silver from the surface

rocks filling the swell in between
vertebrae & my skin loses elasticity
clouded eyes run clear at noon as
sunlight splits the waves, a broken
chandelier lighting each pebble & me

looking for something that opens
always waiting for clam shells to
run over my swollen palms, crayfish
to uncurl, anemones to stand tall

why would i walk on water? i can
sink through an absence of salt &
the view is better, bandaged with
algae, minnows stuck in my teeth

i only think about loss when
it carves a hole in the narrow
crook of my bent elbow
when an eel decides to build
its nest between my ears

time moves humbly in freshwater
traces of mud and fish nibbling
dead things until they can float
what a luxury to witness this
world decaying without glory

Natalia (she/her) graduated in 2020 from Barnard College, where she studied English and neuroscience. When she is having feelings, she searches for the nearest body of water and stares at it for an unreasonable amount of time. Her work is published in several journals including Hecate Magazine, Sledgehammer Lit, and Ample Remains.