Pushcart Nominee 2023
Squids can communicate differently
on each side of their bodies, one side fight-
speckled, violent sparks. One side love- secret
gentle pulses. It's at the aquarium
I learn my chronic illness makes me a
squid, one side healthy, one side sick. The left
side, always the left. When my skin speckles
hot red, my eye twitches, movement becomes
slow motion. Change my shape, camouflage to
pretend nothing's wrong. Look, if you hold still
you can just see. Secretly, the juicy,
jelly soft parts, all of me, wants to be
scooped up and held, bathed in your tenderness.
Love is said to be bright, luminescent.
Christa Fairbrother, MA, is a Florida-based writer living with chronic illnesses. She’s the author of the award-winning, Water Yoga (Singing Dragon, 2022). Her poetry has appeared in DMQ Review, Red Rose Thorns, and Unbroken among others. Upcoming work will appear in: Réapparition Journal,and Sunlight Press. Connect with her: www.christafairbrotherwrites.com.