they will soar as on eagles' wings
Isaiah 40:31, NEB

Face down, breathing with my hair, I cross
paths with small squid climbing through darkness

on tines of stars, flying, a school
of stained glass answering the moon's cruel
color pale for pale. Inky as jewels
in crude oil, jellyfish brush across

my face. Sparkled, I breathe in the deep
that billows me up on the silken sleep
of turtles; every snorkle-hair seethes
sapphire. I see far into darkness.

I accept shark teeth as gift.
I accept breath, burning, a graft
of light hissing out of my head. Gaffed
in the eye by my sign of the Cross

a dogtooth lampfish, its blue gleam doused,
quivers two fathoms down. The stars that roost
in the skins of myctophids roust
turtles to soar through darkness

on tongues of the moon. Where waves wrestle
abyss and light I breathe my loss

through my hair. I accept. I have seen
so far down I would fail. But green
flippers of great turtles lift me.
Coupling majestically, they wrestle

plankton to fire till the cool wash
of fire cleans His pierced eye in a rush
of moon tine and dark, the white flash,
the single green flare, the stab, the loss

of vision and fall to black depth,
brine an iris blooms gold to accept,
the barbed hook, the honed tongue adept
as a gaff the darkened fish wrestles.

Neon blue scales I dive to gather
fly like stars in diatom weather
and flame my void-stricken other
to soar blind in halo and loss.

Face down, breathing with my hair, I cross
on tongues of the moon. Where waves wrestle
paths of small squid, climbing my darkness,
coupling with light, I breathe in loss.

Peter Munro

NOTE: Ceratoscopelus townsendi is a member of the family Myctophidae, the lanternfishes. The myctophids possess photophores, generally with the overlying scales formed into a lens. The myctophids live at moderate to great depth, undertaking vertical diel migrations; they may be taken at the surface at night.
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