Life in the Mesopelagic Twilight Zone
The telescopefish have come to the surface again,
not wanting to believe their tubular eyes.
The world above them has changed so abundantly
they don’t know whether it’s a dream or deceit.
Not wanting to believe their tubular eyes:
garish and wide freaks of optical nature,
they don’t know if they should wake or believe, and
they’re glad to live in the benthic zone.
Garish, steampunk eyes gaze at everything,
although they must look up to interpret prey outlines.
They’re glad to live in the benthic zone, although it is hard
to be certain because deep-water fishes are hard to study.
They gaze skyward to decipher prey outlines;
razor-sharp teeth are also an obscene message, but
we can’t know for certain because they are hard to study,
not even considering how cold it is there.
Hideous teeth in a foldable mouth are static;
it’s the world around them that has changed.
To stay safe, they will stay cold,
Except for their forays near the surface.
Carol H. Jewell is a musician, teacher, librarian, and poet, living in Upstate New York. She has published a chapbook of her poems and has work included in two anthologies. She is currently editing an anthology of pantoums, occasionally gives a workshop on poetry writing for healing, and teaches a college lecture on pantoums.