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.