You could have a big dipper   

Jellyfish by Adrienne Rozells




Once, after a jellyfish stung me,

a man held a beer can over my leg and said

the sticky yeast would help ease the sting.

I didn’t tell him I had been stung before, and

feared very little from the burn.

Jellyfish are not actually fish but

cnidarians, or aquatic invertebrates.

The phylum cnidaria contains species

distinguished by cnidocytes, specialized

stinging cells used to capture

prey.

After all, what was it but a reminder, the sea

embedded in my skin. I still have its mark

on the back of my calf. Red lines against a

tan canvas: wobbly body wraps long tendrils

down, to blister over the knob of my ankle.

The jellyfish’s adult phase,

its reproductive phase, is called the medusa

stage. Medusae are sexual individuals

of many species. Like the head held

by Perseus, they still sting when

dead.

My calf burned, through the day

into the night but I still go

into the sea. My jellyfish keeps me

company among the other fish, though

it is not really a fish at all.

Medusae are free-floating, they drift

through the water column among

thoughtless plankton,

and have no brain or heart. No eyes or

ears or nose or head or bones, not even a

backbone.



Adrienne Rozells is interested in writing as a form of connection and education. She is co-founder/EIC at Catchwater Magazine, and has been published in Kissing Dynamite and Wilder Voice. Find her on Instagram @rozellswrites or Twitter @arozells. She loves strawberries, dogs, and extrapolating wildly about the existence of Bigfoot.

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