Open Ocean, a poem by Jean M. Hodges


When you live in the ocean, it’s hard to notice all the salt floating in the water

When your shipped on the ocean, it’s hard to remember when your human when they’re too busy putting us in boxes to notice

But then we got louder, and showed off our colors and had the audacity to be so bright and pretty on a white canvas that we bothered people for with our fluorescence

And now some of us are considering washing out the paint, because it’s making it to put bullseyes on our backs

“Are you ok?” I ask. And my best friend’s text buzzes as soon as we all get the announcement , as if this is the last letter he can send me before they send him off to a concentration camp with a pink triangle branded on his body

“I’m gonna burn a flag today, he said cheerfully, as if discussing morning coffee

“Fuck, ok, man. “ I say. “Well, good luck making bail. If I’m sold out before that, you’re staying there.”

We laugh cuz we’re drowning. We met up cuz school is still there. We hug cuz we keep each other up.

“What the hell do we do now?” My buddy asks, just trying to fill our space with air, just trying to keep his smile bright and his head above water. And I shrug.

“Brownies?” and he laughs becuz we’re both on this island we made together, hoping against hope this pile of dirt will stay afloat



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