Unseen Water Creatures

Siganus spinus

We watch the tides above us,
feel for pulsing currents,
we read shifting cuttlefish,
star and chambered nautilus.
Movements warn us
of what may be to come.

Our language is one of signs
and glances, soundless
bubbles lifting from our digits
as we gesticulate our needs.
We have learned to wiggle
our expanding snouts.

We eat striped siganus spinus1
without nightmarish effect.
It clears our waterlogged ears
to hear the call of dolphins,
whale-song on the other side
of continents that divide us.

A place of plastic invasion,
we create no waste of our own,
but harness that of the land –
hideouts are made in fallen ships,
blue, shredded bags form weed-like
camouflage, traps for small fish.

Then if land creatures venture fully
into depths below the waves,
we transform ourselves with deep breaths
into balloon-like wrinkled manatees,
and with a hiss and a flap
waters shift, we disappear. ∎

  1. Siganus spinus is a fish, causing auditory hallucinogenic reactions in humans.