Under the knife the lotus root falls in slices that look like many-eyed skulls.
The null hypothesis, the one to be disproved, dissolves in a mangle of hunger.
We eat what grows in mud not to be/ come mud, not to be/
come the skull, many-eyed and watching, always watching.
Things Found in a Backyard Swimming Pool
The fuchsia tutus of tiny ballerinas fallen from the mimosa tree.
The shiny silver coins of drowned baby mice.
Twinned sea- horses in the brains of local children, swimming in time like in glass.
Seafoam green ghosts of clam shells, and starfish, and one bare- nippled mermaid insisting her way through layers of whitewash on the walls of the once palely tattooed pool. Then, quick as a chlorine blink, the watery visions vanish.
In the dining room the quirky former owner’s other marooned mural— faraway boats afloat on the Sea of Crete as glimpsed through Doric columns— is also covered over by layers and layers of suburban paint.
Still, when the light shines at a particular angle the seascape flickers on the wall like a scene from an old black and white movie just before the film in the projector snaps (kaCHAK kaCHAK).
Guests, sometimes, push their chairs back from the table, shaking their heads and muttering, until the buried mural is explained.
But the children whose better part of the day’s been spent underwater are unsurprised when a thing is one moment within reach and the next moment gone.
Like a near- by heart- beat thudding through the waters, almost unnoticed, having always been there, (à deux, adieu) until the children rupture the pool’s surface and emerge, slicked and blinking, into the bright and separate world.
-- Jessica Goodfellow’s books are Whiteout (University of Alaska Press, 2017), Mendeleev’sMandala (2015) and The Insomniac’s Weather Report (2014). She’s had work in Best New Poets, The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and Motionpoems. In 2016 she was a writer-in-residence at Denali National Park and Preserve.