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Petit Matelot, Lorelei Bacht

I died on a submarine, suspended

Between layers of dark, not quite

A grave, not even a sand bed, sand box,

Sans coffin or remorse from the people

Who sunk me there.

I had to go through my changes,

Burn through my hopes, my oxygen

Alone. The rescue team, at first

They were coming. Then they were not.

Then there was nothing left

But time. How it elongated. In the abyss,

Time becomes elastic. Was I breathing

Or being breathed by my own ghost,

Now departed? I am nowhere, I float,

I have become a boat,

The phantom of a famed shipwreck,

Wreckage of dreams, of illusory

Intentions. It was never my intention

To die like that. A tinned sardine.

We met at the harbour,

We un-meet here.


Lorelei Bacht (she/they) is a European poet living in Asia. When she is not carrying little children around or encouraging them to discover the paintings of Edvard Munch, she can be found collecting bones and failing scientific experiments. Although she writes in the first person, she did not actually die on a submarine. Her recent work can be found and/or is forthcoming in OpenDoor Poetry, Litehouse, Visitant, Quail Bell and The Wondrous Real. She is also on Instagram: @lorelei.bacht.writer and @the.cheated.wife.writes

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