eden underwater

by Ella Rous

this body is a mouthful
of water and silt, a home
for bacteria and silver fish,
a series of disappearances.
how is it to have your entirety
fit within the chest of a man,
a russian nesting doll,
the self inside a self. object,
not subject. i am the dirt
my granddaughters will be
buried under, singing i am
the house and the occupant,
i am the chapel and the sinner.

i was made in god’s image if god
is a face in a mirror, eve’s hands
white-knuckling the sink,
jawline folding and unfolding.
don’t close your eyes. plant
a rib in the garden and grow
a wilderness, a field untamed,
the moon turning everything
to glass. the pond, strands
of blonde hair twisting around
a face defined by its absence,
which is me also: me in the hands
of adam, me in the hands of god,
and me in the hands of the water.

Ella Rous has recently graduated from the Westwood High School in Dallas, Texas, and will be attending the University of Texas at Austin in fall of 2021. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in High Shelf Press and the notes app on her phone. Today, her favorite words are oyster, chimney, and séance.


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