Marine biologist hands

are oddly dry for all the water they are steeped in,
pick scales off like dead skin
& begin to wonder if they too, are sprouting in the body,
fingernails that carry
so much salt underneath them,
looking for a sign that we have not stolen too much blue
that we have not danced more destructive than the tide,
all of our work is trying to hold this &
how can you lifeguard the ocean
when she is forced to drown in her own
empty waters.
harvested with a lead foot,
unspoken by the mouth of every whale supposed to outlive us.
us with the cracked hands trying to spoon
this water to safety, trying to feed the creatures,
but the ocean - the ocean persists,
she does not care about landmass borders or men or lies or science
all the ocean cares about is birth
& having area to stretch into
& even as we take so much the ocean is expanding
& isn't it beautiful that something so threatened decides to be more space
& isn't that the best fight
to be more water
than your destroyer asked for



Chestina Craig (she/her) lives in Monterey Bay, California with her cat. Her work has been published by Crab Fat Magazine, Sea Foam Mag, Button Poetry and others. She has presented her work at The Presidents Commission on The Status of Women, The Young Women’s Empowerment Conference, & more. She has a degree in Marine Biology, loves to meld science and art, and sometimes pets sharks or hangs out with octopi. She hopes that one day she will only be required to wear gauzy clothing, study the ocean, and get paid to have too many feelings. Her chapbook “body of water” came out October 2017 with Sadie Girl Press. You can find more information at