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North of Capricorn

Susan Ioannou


(Chironex Fleckeri)

Drawn through darkness
to lights unknown at the edge of a pier
it hovers in summer-warm waves.
Shimmering filaments
bunch and straighten,
bunch and straighten,
a gelatinous clockwork
that kills
— but it has no brain.

Ghostly transparence
four-faced (each with an eye)
it turns full cornea and lens
sensing small shadows
to flee, or entwine
shellfish, children,
fragrant flesh
bumbling into its fiery sting
— instant death —
but it has no brain.

What we call Evil
is it the same:
more than a criminal
slashing to power
but the universe rippling
its infinite net
to destroy to create to destroy
to create
— but it has no brain.

How much is our will
how much, swept along
on another dark wave
rushing to lights we cannot explain
at the brink of a pier
or regime?
The jellyfish swallows and swallows
for aeons
— but it has no brain.


Susan Ioannou's works copyright © to the author.


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