Heart as Siphonophore


The researchers had imagined it, whipsawing
through silty sleeves,

the giant siphonophore, sea worm of such ghostly
fiber and length it would take hours

to watch it pass, the writhing blue bioluminescent
skin of it simultaneously here and far.

Now they witness it, photograph it, stare
at the improbable, slithering 150-foot

figment, ribboning in a quantum
state, the floating bell of head so distant

from the end of its colonized chambers
that the steadiness steers far from the fret—

stingers jostle in the eerie suck and ripple of its path.
Now, praya dubia, leap and swim forward

with sureness, now, wind sideways in uncertain fatigue.
The head arrives in an Australian oceanic canyon,

while the tail trails in a different time zone. So far
from true cadence of itself, two places at once:

there, the water glows aqua in your presence,
and here, the long, thin muscle still heaving,

reaching along the night-drenched bottom.

From Issue 6

LAURA REECE HOGAN is the author of Litany of Flights (Paraclete Press, 2020), winner of the Paraclete Poetry Prize, the chapbook O Garden-Dweller (Finishing Line Press), and the nonfiction book I Live, No Longer I (Wipf & Stock). A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, she has contributed to Whale Road Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Dappled Things, Cumberland River Review, The Cresset, EcoTheo Review, Poets Reading the News, and other publications.

Photo by Conor Sexton on Unsplash

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