- Moon Jellies
I lost him twice today: oncein the glide from kiss to burnwhen, like Daphne, he seemed to racetoward wildwood, undone;
a desperate run toward trees and grass,a slender shade of sleepthat when he woke still traced his skinlike whorls of laurel, deep
and fine. And later, in the coolaquarium, beyondanemones, belugas, tangs,beyond the rigid fronds
of coral reefs: jellyfish, moonjellies behind a wallof hand-thick glass. Beneath the bluegels of light, their shawls
of nerves fluoresced as pinkfour-chambered stars; their rimsa sway of glass-blue hairs. No needto sting, the drift of slim
non-bodies floating up, their tracemore pulse than presence, morequintessence than glass case. Just thenI noticed his calm stare,
then purple rapture, a trance unlikeany human stateand then his body crossed the glassto gently undulate [End Page 153]
among that prehistoric crowd,no name or eyes or skin,no weight of human color, justthe ceaseless drift toward bliss.
Joanne Diaz received her MFA from New York University, where she was a New York Times Foundation Fellow. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, American Poetry Review, Quarterly West and the Southern Review.