Jellyfish/Out of Water

Jellyfish/Out of Water
A.J. Odasso

Flashback—June 2004

This month’s attack is
fierce without the pill,

shot-through innards
in shallow hot water

find no relief. I splay
once-curled fingers, slick

belly becoming
licked wound: no touch

sufficient to stay
the tendrils at point

of tangling, no pool
saline enough

to soothe sting
from null seed.


Out of Water
Present—January 2016

In my dream,
the dead girl
lay unfound
for hours
on the floor,

three blankets
heaped on her
while the others
tussled, drank,
and whispered

till dawn. Face
pale, her eyes
clear, haunted
out of living
to meet mine.


I woke at ten,
turned on
the lights, sick
with the sight
of this fiction.

Scraped dust
from my toes,
noted clean

back against
percale sheets,
done. Slept

an hour and
a half, maybe
more. Woke
to wet sounds,

panic. Switch hit,
feet bare: two fish
have escaped
the tank. One dry,
long gone; one

gasping for air,
pearly skin livid.
She waited there
next to my shoes,
gills and eyes clear.



A.J. Odasso’s poetry has appeared in a wide variety of strange and wonderful publications, including Sybil’s Garage, Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky, Cabinet des Fées, MidnightEcho, Not One of Us, Dreams & Nightmares, Goblin Fruit,Strange Horizons, and Stone Telling. Her début collection, Lost Books(Flipped Eye Publishing, 2010), was nominated for the 2010 LNPA Best New Poet Award and for the 2011 Forward Prize, and was also a finalist for the 2011 People’s Book Prize. Her two chapbooks, Devil’s Road Downand Wanderlust, are available from Maverick Duck Press. You can find her online at (and on Twitter under the same name).