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Jason Zuzga
POETRY
 
Seahorse

 

They anaesthetize a pregnant male.
I watch as he lies immobile like a fairy curl
on a human-long gurney in a Sydney maternity ward.
The technician inserts a probe into his pouch.
We see on screen the plumped tangle
magnified, an eye and tails
squirmed out of their egg sacs.
"This male is nearly ready to give birth!
I had no idea he was so close to his time! "
So says the attendant biologist.
I think that's drama feigned for film.
I think she must have known that
puncture was irreversible and so she
waited until the babies were ready.
Why do we need to see everything?
Cut to the Philippine harvest.
Cut to the shrimp boat trawl net.
Last time there was a stampede.
People got killed.
The mind is a turbulent
plain of sea grass. Each memory
is a sturdy seahorse.
A sack of flour, a phantom limb.
The divers come and one by one
they twirl the tail, unclasp a hold.
The tail tries to fasten to a finger
and instead the seahorse gets
placed into a net, a tin pail,
gets clipped on a drying rack,
gets packed in a box, gets sliced
by a beating blade. Clip clop clip.
The mortar and pestle bang sections into
powder for the capsules.
The capsules push through foil
to the palm of your hand.

 


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