Art by Kalliopi Matthios & Words by Ashley Opheim

Jelly Saliva

“Let’s get some cotton candy and eat it near the water,” you say.

“Do jellyfish have hearts?” I ask you.

The spine is a column that holds up the brain.

I observe that the jellyfish look prettier under the black light.

“How often do your feet need to leave the ground at the same time on a day-to-day basis?” you ask.
“Communicating with your feet is difficult,” I say while holding one of my hands with my other hand.

Strength is a column.
I touch the glass between the jellyfish and us.

The stars inside your floating eyes have matter.
Think about it, your ribs protect your heart from breaking.

My new lavender tights protect my bare legs from the outside world.
‘Crystals of salted phytoplankton and the radical demi-now’, I repeat.

The glass in front protects me from the underwater world.
The NSA indirectly bully me into thinking I have someone or something out to get me.

I am concerned with the ways in which I’m not protected.

These are some questions that other people have asked Google about jellyfish:
Do jellyfish make noise?
Do jellyfish have eyes?
Do jellyfish need air?
If you get stung by a jellyfish should someone pee on you?

Motion is a change in position of an object with respect to time and its reference point.

The jellyfish look like spaceships.
The jellyfish pulse.

“Did you know that Google sells your data? And that you pay for the data that it’s stored on?”
“I don’t want to think about it.”

Jellyfish have a mouth where their butt is and a butt where their mouth is.
Do jellyfish poop from their mouths?
Do jellyfish actually make jelly?
Do jellyfish have blood? Can they bleed?

“Instead of a brain jellyfish have a nerve net,” you say.
You kiss me.
My hair stands on end, defies gravity.

Gravity is a column.
Crystals of salted phytoplankton and the radical demi-now

Kissing you makes me feel like an underwater waterfall with a pulse.

“Do jellyfish think?” I ask after your mouth pulls away from my mouth.
A piece of saliva dangles between us.

“Do jellyfish know they are alive?” you ask, breaking our united spit.
Do jellyfish have hearts? I think without saying.

“Do you think they know we are present?”
“Do you think they know they have a mouth where their butt is supposed to be?”

Love is like water falling into water, underwater.

“I’m thirsty.”

Kalliopi Matthios lives in Brooklyn, NY  Ashley Opheim lives in Montreal, QC

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