Ocean

It’s not long dark and the moon is lazy, 

rolling across the horizon fat as a pot-bellied toddler. 

Too far out to muster the energy to swim to. 


Diving down into the ocean’s amniotic embrace I conjure a cave, 

inhabited by a giant squid. 


A single intelligent eye projects my reflection, obscuring inky depths. 

These are not for me to know. 

The coiled creature is a reader of minds, unconcerned with their contents.

Only I am disgusted by my sheer humanness in this alien world. 


I kick to the surface. Time has passed, but how much I cannot tell. 

“I can’t stay,” he says, and I know it, 

But I’d like to claw his flesh for making it real. 



Megan Cartwright is a secondary school teacher of Literature and English. Writing has always featured in her life as a means to consolidate her experience of the world, however the gaps and silences that emerged as a product of the pandemic prompted a new form of introspection. This poem is a product of a confronting exploration of self and the way she has sought to occupy empty spaces as a woman, wife and mother.

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Copyright Authora Australis and contributing authors and artists 2020

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