Bioluminescence

Hawaiian bobtail squid are born as wide
eyed moustaches, blobs of speckled nothing,
ghost-babies, scared
of their own shadows. They sift
the night water for specific bacteria
to tickle into a pouch.
The bacteria live, counting themselves
            (Are we enough to act?)
            (Will the world notice us?)
When they hear the echoed
            (yes) (yes) (yes)
they luminesce
and the squid devour their own shadows.
Then every night, they feed their pouch
until it shines. To the teeth
that wait below
they become moonlight.

When the night is over and the squid
slither down to sleep in the sand
they vomit forth their brightness
until their insides dim in loneliness
and the sea is enriched with tomorrow-light.

You tell me this and I wonder
how many transparent secrets are hid
by making your viscera luminous.

Robin Lamboll researches climate change and human emissions, and writes on the intersection between the natural and the human. Robin has won Cambridge, UK and Madrid international poetry slam finals, and came second in the World Cup of Slam in 2019.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bioluminescence

  1. Lorie says:

    Ode to a planaria

    How doth the little planet keep getting ahead? It must be quite an attitude, such neverending …plentitude!

  2. L.K. Latham says:

    Never had the process explained so well. Life in action. Nice job.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.