Poetry 2012 / Volume 43

Jellyfish — James Doyle

ordain the beach, little pontiffs
in the rolling brightness of their robes.

Sacred sand now. The blessed
in their bikinis wallow for art

among daubs of minor poison,
see-through stinging like grace-notes

against the sun’s glares, edgings
in relief to bring out the Mediterranean

day. No one goes in the water
before or after the jellyfish. Waiters

bring trays of drinks. Someone asks
if stars imitate the shape of jellyfish

and someone answers with a toast
to movable borders, sky or earth,

that follow us on the leashes called
perspective. The excuse for setting up

an easel or removing a bathing suit
top. The jellyfish are too sensual

to respond when children and artists
poke them with sticks. The purpose

of drift is strictly regulated.
The sun drapes itself on the jellyfish

and they breathe out, one tide away
from breathing in. The coast stretches over

both ends of day, and night dries up,
disappears into the blink of gelatin or flesh.

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One thought on “Jellyfish — James Doyle

  1. Pingback: Current Issue: Volume 43, Number 1 — Poetry Issue, Fall 2012 | Coe Review

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