content warning: suicide

Survived By

by

Nora Sun

what happened to the silence left by rubber ducks

was it swallowed by those colorful candies balancing
in their plastic boats, above skin peeling like
blooming lotuses, bone beneath its translucent petals
lying on a water-filled bed, adorned with bubbles
which remind me of legends about seafoam

the same blue-grey as Lake Michigan at dawn
leaving 10,000 mussels to die on its shore, and boiled
stars, mauled and crippled by the summer heat
plucked and trussed onto stakes and passed out
as glazed jellies for kids at the carnival

or did it begin with the sirens—you, a poet in
love with all devastating beauties and
expecting mermaids, is instead welcomed by
sea mud for skin, swallowing water for a living,
decomposes the body to twisted sinews, head
jerking back to face seafloor endless as a flat line

shrieking when red floods the water

Nora Sun is a Chinese-American writer living in Chicago. She loves language, iliac crests, and brevity's talent for breeding mystery.