Underneath The Ruddy Tide
Salt and condensed rust, red like an ocean of diluted blood. Did it rain last night? They are microscopic, not invisible. These creatures come to hide under their filthy cloak, undetectable like poetry whispered in your ear by a neon phantom, until they light up. It wasn’t meant for your eyes, only for the reflective scales and rustling fins you once caressed them with. It’s different now looking down at your glowing legs that would be dripping invisible stars during daylight, bloody to the untrained eye, dirty to the mind. They use runoff as an excuse, laughing at the beached sunbather who mistakes galaxies for flakes of plastic. Darkness spells them into celestial bodies and you stir them together, knowing what it’s like to fill the places between stars.
Ariel Kusby is a recent graduate of UCLA, where she studied creative writing. Her poetry, reviews, and essays have previously appeared or are forthcoming in Luna Luna Magazine, Bone Bouquet, Umbrella Factory, Devilfish Review, Chaparral, and elsewhere.