Meg Eden

I Ask My Mother What It’s Like, Living at the Bottom of the Ocean

She says, yes—it’s a bit dark
and cold, but you can get used
to anything with time.

I imagine my mother: setting up doilies
on eel cave rocks, polishing
a coral reef. Already, she’s probably

cleaned half the disaster debris
from the ocean floor.
It must be beautiful, I say—what

with all those fish down there.
You have all the unagi-don you could ever
want now, right? I laugh.

My mother gets harder to see.
You must be busy, she says.
I’ll join you soon, I joke.

My mother says nothing.
My mother reaches out to give me
a gift but her hands are empty.

She keeps gesturing toward me,
her translucent hands
like two fish. I ask her what

she is trying to give me.
And then I see it—my two hands
against hers, how full and pink.

Meg Eden’s work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle. She teaches at the University of Maryland. She has four poetry chapbooks, and her novel Post-High School Reality Quest is forthcoming from California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Lit.