by Hannah Wells
When the boys cut their first fish from dorsal fin to lower lip they were not prepared for so much wine-grey fluid, both runny and viscous like a clogged drain. They reeled back as it spilled out over the blade and between their slender fingers browned by summer; cadence of saltwater brushed over the need to be worthy. The fish twitched violently until the tall boy severed the head, hesitantly so that it remained attached, and then with indignation, wounded pride. The asphyxiated head leapt over the shore leaving a trail of sludgy matter, its flat pupil-less eyes at rest by the lapping water. Between their clumsily masculine hands, the split body convulsed as if still submerged, its jagged lattice of bones prehistoric against warm flesh. An examination of the inseparable. Scales littered their hands, the sand, in the little tide of death and water signifying a draw close of childhood. The dark responsibility each bears to relinquish himself to the tide that has left them at the maw of change, unaware that there is not a way back; that they could not withhold their spirit’s departure into age.
Hannah Wells is 27 years old and graduated with a BA in English from Wayland Baptist University. Publications to date include Anima Poetry Press, All the Sins Literary Magazine, The Big Windows Review, Avatar Review, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine and Del Sol Magazine. She strives to capture the specificity of visceral moments found in nature through a spiritual perspective.