Reef Bodies

Underwater museums.

a sunken ship at the bottom of the sea

See the reef people, bodies given over to coral, algae, seagrasses, sheltering conch, crustaceans: boy with a face in his hands, man with a head of branches; history’s dead and the severed heads of oracles, waiting rebukes to the next sales pitch that begins with a story of progress unlimited. 

See the men with manes of seagrass, the ships for swimming through, the work of a lifetime to be schooled by fish.

After twenty centuries of stony sleep, what rough beast, its hour come at last, slouches to the shore to be reborn?


Inspired by the underwater sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor. The italicized phrase in the final lines comes from “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

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