by Caren Scott

          Georgia Aquarium, 2006

What draws us here? A dim room, glowing from the inside,
and windows of blue     so violent, I concluded—
When are the moments of failing?

Our realization of     some thing was immediate, hands flat against the ache.
These are similar to us,     or they are inside, and if I were to touch one,
one of two things would happen: pain would shock me normal or,

I wouldn’t feel anything. They’ve tangled. And stay there. What harm
can they cause? pulsing and lukewarm, simple brains throbbing.
Now and again they lift, begin to pull away. But there is a machine

providing a current, and the danger of losing something never needed. What are you
full of, jellies? Flashes? But you don’t make your own light. And isn’t it this way for each of us? Always borrowing.
Do we     begin in the deep? Do we arrive there?  Oh.     We never arrive.

Somewhere’s a lake where the impact of touch has evolved away.
You may cup each pink heart in your hand until you find yours, or a new one, or even
if you don’t want another or anything to do with these, at least you can ask them
varieties of  Why did this happen?

Somewhere grains have become a part of us, and we are flat and left to dry.
And underneath are rooms of brine, a lady slipper, coquinas.
But even if the tide returns in time, the sun eventually enters all things.
A stick is dropped beside us and somebody walks away.

Photo: Caren Scott
Caren Scott lives in Seattle, archives films, and shoots video for post-rock band Fields Without Fences. She has lived an eerily similar life, in a similar inlet, on each coast. She has won prizes or tiny checks from Agnes Scott College, Clark Atlanta University, and the Greater Augusta Arts Council. Her work has appeared in NOÖ Weekly, Phoebe, The Cypress Dome, and The Rectangle.

Photo by Bowen Vigus