do you see how the jellyfish bloom? – Laura Ma

                                         to Allison

                                                   planula larvae: the beginning - the end
 
        we talk under the moon jellies, / their sunflower shades on our
        faces. / prophecies color our words, / a promise ten years early.
        for now, we spend our youth / between cerulean reflections
        and dissonant crowds / counting the fibonacci sequences of
        nautilus shells / and the dangling eternity of kelp, / sighing
        their infinite variations, / saying: i will wait for your return. 


                                             //

                                           


                                               polyp: taking root - reminiscing a past life 

“I am leaving,” I say. A migration of my own, my dreams drift like sea jellies, searching for calm 
waters to spawn. 

You smile and sigh. “I know of your wandering heart.” 

We look out to the pink sky and the grey sea, tinged with the horizon. Hands clasping and palms 
pinning, we stand at Monterey Bay. 

You ask me, “Do you remember Santa Cruz?” 

At the edge of the tides, you waded to the water, fingers digging through the wrack zone: 
unearthing a sand dollar. Still tinted seaweed green at the rims: radial with petals — a star —  I 
saw its heart pulsing in your hands.  

At that moment, I wanted you to take my heart too and lock it in a calcium carbonate cage. 

“Of course,” I tell you. Waves crash onto the rocks below. 


                                             //


                                                      strobila: flowering - ready to take flight

i think of the brothers in Children of the Sea. raised by the ocean, they breathe its power like 
oxygen, hemoglobin binding gold in their veins; never quite whole on land, forever yearning for 
home. called upon by whalesong echoes, they swim to the primordial remaking of the universe 
— the currents as the mother of all, always destined to return to the water.

we are the same as the brothers, maturing to ride our ambitions with the current — but maybe, 
we can be moon jellies, too. 

for moon jellies come of age on a translucent tower, / taking off like droplets tumbling / from the 
tips of moonflowers. / tracing these memories on melanin, they watch their sisters bloom into 
medusas, / loving what they become. 

so, let me say a slow farewell, for we witness the birth of someone great when we gaze at each 
other’s eyes: growing up with you is the kindest coming of age.


                                             //


                                                    ephyra: traveller - floating for the first time 

it is fated that we’re sanctified for our dreams; the allure of another universe. / in the right 
season, if you whisk the water, it will twinkle fairy lights, / glistening like stars in tide pools. / 
children will laugh at the crabs that scuttle away, / echoing of summers we cannot return to.  

so, we sweep through sea foam, / hunting for treasure and a second galaxy. / “there is even more 
in the water,” you say. / “diatoms / radiolarians— / these microscopic kaleidoscopes, fitting all 
transparent truths inside their mosaics.”  

“what’s yours?” i ask, teasingly. 

panoramic, you string these memories together — this is the promise made ten years too early.

“i’m letting you go,” you confess softly. “let us meet again.”

i shake my jar of seawater, and the sea fireflies shimmer for you. 

Laura Ma

Laura Ma is a writer from California. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the Pollux JournalThe Lumiere Review, Claw & Blossom and elsewhere. She loves light, wings, and all things that fly. Find her on Twitter @goldenhr3.

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