The Lost Sea


So much of the sea is now farmland. Fishermen no longer fish with cyanide but stare down at tannin-stained waters. Hungry children become displaced on cracked earth while in distant oceans, fish still live in neon cities, the leafy sea dragons and schools of silver hatchet fish swirling elegant sharks. I know nothing of the sharks or the deep blue. I toss the last of our Sea-Monkeys down the low-flush toilet because they are living and dying too fast in graying water for me to understand what the hell Sea-Monkeys are. Guppies? Tadpoles? Listening for the flush, I drop the jar into the trash and then stare into my eyes in the mirror, remembering. You don’t seem to like what you remember, my eyes. I’m drowning in sorrow on our old waterbed as you drown in time like water. Every lake is a miniature ocean, you told me once. I once washed my hair in an ancient sea where baby green turtles still swim. Sea ice melts in my rose wine, a thousand yards from the receding shore. Sweating the river, the shallow swells, pulling the ocean inside us to the landscape’s evolution, huge boulders once climbed by my ancestors, jumpers of volcanic cliffs falling into the deep beneath the tides, slipping through the swarms, feeding rainwaters for a desert world.

Photo By: Stella

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About Author

Aimee Parkison is the author of “Woman with the Dark Horses” (2004, winner of the first annual Starcherone Prize), “The Innocent Party,” (2012, BOA Editions, Ltd.), and the short poetic novel “The Petals of Your Eyes,” about kidnapped girls who become actors in a secret theater (2014, Starcherone/Dzanc). She has taught creative writing at a number of universities, including Cornell University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Oklahoma State University, where she is currently an Assistant Professor of Fiction Writing. Parkison has also received a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, a Writers at Work Fellowship, a Kurt Vonnegut Fiction Prize from The North American Review, a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in Prose Writing, and a Hearst Fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society. See more at

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