Tortuga Bay


Born encased in a matchbox cot - glass, hazy days filled with finger-tapping and zoomed-in faces, s  t  r  e  t  c  h  e  d like the walls’ ticking-tock over plastic rocks, with a bale of inmates changing quicker than substitute teachers – school

  – Swooped, a net, splash, hands, air –

Commonplace transparency in a novelty formation, we became a pellet-fed family – content with rain and a rainbow in grey.

Visions, others like us on the moving-box-thing – drift through blues – end——————————————less clusters of psychedelic submarine blooms and trees. I crashed into the glass wall and grew -

too big for this home.

 – Swooped, a net, splash, hands, air –

An encompassing blindfold, potholes, loose on a roller-coaster, reckless pelting. Awake, the artist painted our skin with brushes of wind. Glance: an alternate kind of glassy, endless blues, we slid in. Soaked heads, periscopes, our survey of a spectrum of greens. Giant hogweed our roots started to feed as we scattered our seeds.

The consonant cantabiles of gibberish traced to the faces of Jovian creatures, we wished for a slur to join us semiquavers. Eyes shot staccato bullets, our tone was not wanted on the page. Frogs! From the translucent times, seemingly a confidante in captivity, now a combatant between the bars of treble.

But we had air to breathe and limbs to move. Sand tread excitement and the warmth of the sun on our skin. That night crickets lulled us to sleep.

Hungry parents filled our bowls with kale leaves. We choked on bitterness – it would have to do. Destined a toy, plastic skin started to harden. I would dip further into the blues but it chilled my skin, the fish too. Germinate to seedling our roots sunk further wrapping around the native roots of reeds. The blue rose and fell again and again.

Kale left us hungry in its gradual vanish. We progressed to the fun-sized frogs whose fragile backbone would catch in my gullet. As our bale swelled, their knot waned. Our spot we named Tortuga Bay.

I thought we would keep to ourselves. But we gave them transport and taught them food. They only needed to move two steps. Appetite they had enough. We bred a military for our bay to us it protects. Staccato bullets progressed to chromatic riots. The last palm of croakers, unwanted cries and snapped spines – we progressed. Hogweed graced a child’s hand, the parent lathered on sunscreen. I swam to the lure of fingers.

  – Swooped, a net, splash, hands, air –

To start —————————alone. Return to the world of soggy pellets, seeing through fingerprints, staring at my reflection, tainted. I thought about the sky and expanded into its space. Now, an impossible boat, trapped by the small neck of a bottle, I will suffocate.

Limbs stretched into grapevines around the burst box, growing me –


My feet trod concrete, tiles, soil, grass, heading to somewhere. I learnt the concept of remote, embraced and thanked each footprint, ant, plant.

By chance I arrived, they crooned my plainsong and ate abundant leaves. Warm water, I learn to see clusters of psychedelic submarine blooms and trees.


Jazmine Kelly