by Ella Shively
After the secession of my wisdom teeth, I awake reborn as a lopsided pufferfish. My tiny mouth
is drowning in the oceanic expanse of my face, left cheek drooping past a gibbous chin. I laugh
in the mirror, bubbles rising. When I speak, the gills at the base of my jawline flap. I drift from
one side of the hallway to the other, a great, fat fish bouncing amongst the corals as the gentle
current guides my path. I am magnificently round. I slurp saltwater three times daily, resting atop
a seagrass bed, spines erupting from my bloated face. In my dreams, pearlescent coral gametes
float toward the swollen moon, blinking like fireflies in the watery dark.
Ella Shively is a writer and wildlife technician from Wisconsin, U.S.A. Her work has taken her all over the country, from the enchanted islands of Lake Superior to the lively wetlands of northern Florida. She is currently assisting with raptor monitoring efforts in the northern Sierra Nevada. Her writing has been published in Runestone Journal, Bracken, Prometheus Dreaming, and elsewhere. You can find her on Instagram and YouTube @ShivelyWrites.