JUST DIGESTED by Leora Fridman

Just digested


We thought we had an ocean, but the actual inside was glitter. These small weird
particles that came apart with speed. Anything could be water in the right light. Anything
could twinkle. When we reached for large chunks they dissolved into seeing.
They dissolved into the kind of slickness we could ride down.


Our dream had recycling bins
for lunch. They would get swallowed in
healthy, disappearing lumps. They’d be just


I want you to spread among me like you can’t be
contained. But I want bulwarks, too. Those things that drain
to an unknown source of dissolution. My refuse
disappears. Those things that make
me ragged like any old seahorse
could do. Exhausting spines. I bump them so they
float around me, their tentacles made of
gas. They aren’t floating right. Something
is off. Permeability is winning and I’d think
that’s what I want. You dehydrate me and replace
it with something that doesn’t grow, just
stays. Not a rock; an ambivalence.


We don’t even know that they’re alive like
that. The walls have a responsibility to their coral. The corals have a kind

of recess. Ready or not, here I come! I’ll watch your babies
for you. I’ll watch over you the way you can’t see
yourself from outside. You wanted me to tell you your
size so I told you: calcium. We can’t build this. We
can’t regard ourselves because the grease keeps

us running, our gears cycling through without audible
squeaking. The ocean muffles
that. The coast doesn’t have gears it

has dissolution. You want the fuel to go in like that,
to have a product – just one –
but it doesn’t work like
calories. It’s not

a feeding, it’s
a seep.


Leora Fridman lives in San Francisco. Her recent and forthcoming publications are included in Lumina, Sub-lit, The New Delta Review, The Rio Grande Review, Watershed, The Jerusalem Post, and others. Her chapbook “Telenovela Pregnancy Hoax” was a finalist for the 2009 Black River Chapbook Competition.

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