by Jared Beloff
a faded pastel wall
bleached with coral and blue
impressions of ochre
stars, their chalky outlines wasting
a kelp forest hangs
from a party that has gone
too long, fish darting through
fronds that have no right to be here.
cracked paint calved,
scattered to the linoleum. in the detritus
an urchin’s spike, an octopus’ curled arm
blotched and bound by mold, foaming
through plaster tentacles,
reach to understand
blend billowed skin, retract secrets
in the frigid dark like children probing
a formless wash, listening through broken shells.
Jared Beloff is a teacher and poet who lives in Queens, NY with his wife and two daughters. His debut poetry collection, Who Will Cradle Your Head, is forthcoming with ELJ Press in February 2023. He is the editor of the Marvel inspired poetry anthology, Marvelous Verses. You can find his work in Contrary Magazine, Barren Magazine, Bending Genres, The Shore and elsewhere. He is online at www.jaredbeloff.com and as @Read_Instead on Twitter.