Brine and Vanishings 

Brine and Vanishings – Hester J. Rook

Deep, in the drowning
fingers scrabble in the sand and pry rocks and soft-filled shells
slick with seawater.
Above, motors pump out gleams of oil and churn the water
slip listing against green-pocked swells.
Men steer into currents
set lobster traps and throw fishing line,
bodies melting into the sun.
They pull up fat writhing silver, thrashing through the lake’s skin,
gasping into the air.
Finned and fanged she glides under the sucking surface
pumping through undertow and cloaked in hair,
the glint of scale invisible to those perched above,
lure and luring.
But oh
they feel her singing deep in their hollow chests and crane themselves to the horizon
If they vanish
stand and arch and fling
themselves into the deepwater,
submerge and do not rise,
well, –
she reasons, –
who will notice
except the lobster, free from the pot
the mullet shimmering through the water
and dark eyes and fangs in the deep.


Hester J. Rook is a Rhysling Award and Australian Shadows Award shortlisted poet and co-editor of Twisted Moon Magazine. They are often found salt-scrunched on beaches, reading arcane tales and losing the moon in mugs of tea. Find Hester on Twitter @hesterjrook and read more poems and fiction at