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November 7, 2019 / barton smock

Heir and Sea: An Excerpt from Sea Above, Sun Below

The Collidescope

Tessa swam as a fish among fish, a scaled and finned body. The sound of the churning water like an echo chamber. Then she was neither fish nor infant, but unborn baby. Fetus- formed, she backstroked in the russet sea of her mother’s womb. She continued to perceive the fish beside her, around her. What are you doing in my mother? she asked the group of fish. This is my home. The slimy creatures looked at her with omniscient eyes. This is our element, not yours, they said. Then she was an infantile human again, in the shivering river, as she always had been. She was translucent now, red and blue veins like tattoos beneath her jelly flesh, deeper still was the soft chalk of her skeleton. I’m not one of you, she said. They hovered closer, as if to whisper in her ears. No, you are not. Her eyes…

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