Love Poem for Undersea Flesh

A poem by Danny Bultitude

I - Ostreida

Grey and white mist forms calligraphy

dictated by water, clashing and mingling

with all the exuberance of creation

itself, yourself, the beginnings of you

O sweet oyster, still just a cummy spume

whom I feel so dearly towards.

Tidal suck pulls your mist through infinite

landscapes, past rocks in algae blouses

beneath shadows of seedpods round as god

until mist becomes larvae, tasting freedom

for slightly under a month, exploring

at your own will, swallowing plankton

developing hard armour and

a single black foot.

Eventually, you’ll find a favourite stone and

become an architect, consciously or not

your perfect secretions harden into a unique shape

a bespoke apartment right next door to

all your siblings, where you can retire into

dormancy, sacrifice excitement for domestic comforts

for a home within your shell, where I shall live

alongside you, caring and calming, forever

aflame with great passion.


II - Medusozoa

Divorced from all speech, we

Two jellyfish like plump lips

Uncanny and aqueous

Without thought, moving

In short moans.

Idly drawn by the current

Of lust hovering somewhere

Between bed and ceiling

Between sand and surface

We kiss the same way

Jellyfish fuck.

Soft flesh dumbly collides

Depresses in, billows out

Leaves distinct impressions as

Limp tendrils trail, interweaving

In loose plaits.

We two enclosed oceans

Caught within an undead swim

Our deep subterranean bodies

Thrown together again, sharing

Endless breath.


III - Littorinimorpha

Recognise your pinholes in the damp

Through which you oxygenate

This lowtide jubilee, where I lay my hand

Flat against your vibrating beach, ever-shfiting

With your movement, your heartbeat

I could spread my fingers and know

Your globular shell would still be bigger.

Emerge for me, blessed moonsnail, surface

and taste this air I breathe, leave the stiff

sand collar of your mucoid eggs, be a

goddamn neglectful mother for me, leave them

alone, growing orphaned in your hole

I will rinse you with seawater, pick the

grains from your wrinkles, polish

your shell with my undeserving tongue.

Plough through the beach towards me,

Leave a deep line in your wake, topsoil asunder

Undulate onto my body with your elephant foot

trail slime and flex shapeless muscles so

cutely, my innocent mound, lacking face

or expression but showing such personality.

Come, flatten me with your strange meat

Tenderly feed me golbaengi-muchim

Extend your radula against my face and gently

Bore through me, tearing off skin, drilling

Into bone so slow, as you blindly search

For my soft insides and delicate parts.

Leave a neat little countersink in my skull

And utterly kill me, body laid naked on

The sand as a victim of drowning, of seabreath

Sweet moonsnail, bring your friends to feed

Take pieces of me home to your babies

Once they’re grown and able to eat, safely

Tucked in your nest, satisfied on my meat

Remind me that this love is one-sided, that you

              Remain a creature

thoughtless and wild and gorgeous.

Danny Bultitude holds an MA in English Literature and has previously been published in Landfall, Newsroom, and The Spinoff. He was one of the recipients of the 2019 Surrey Hotel Writer's Residency and hopes to have a lovely view when he fades away into compost.