She’s relegated herself to the bath indefinitely. The eight-year-old thinks to make her change
the water from time to time. The six-year-old slips bath bombs over the edge of the tub, delights in
the anywhere the water can become. The sea is not meant to boil you pink, her mother says over
the phone. Land does not make you a lobster condemned. You did that to yourself, for a man.
Oh the crackling in the air, the phone dropped in the water. Meanwhile, the girls sprout half-gills,
enough to visit home. Silence stings across the new phone, fingers dry against the side of her face.
Very nice, angel. The six-year-old glues seashells to the floors and glow-in-the-dark stars to the walls.
The bioluminescence itches. Bills stuff the mailbox like taxidermy. The girls wordlessly present her
to their visiting friends, rush them past. They give her a giant conch shell bought with their allowance,
through which the tide guilts. The eight-year-old slits the webbing between her toes. The six-year-old
waggles her finger in her belly button, extracting flakes of gold glitter. When are you moving back? The roar
of reproach haunts. Why won’t you come home? At night she avoids the dreams, lets the dial tone drown them out.
Anna Press is a writer and teacher. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and three errant dachshunds. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Kissing Dynamite Poetry's print anthology Lift Every Voice, The Hellebore, Daily Drunk Mag, Hominum Journal, and Emerge Lit Mag. Talk to her on Twitter @annaepress.