“Cambrian worm—smash or pass?” by Rick Hollon

we drift newly animate in Cambrian warmth
amid pulsing things of snot and gristle,
slick hungry rings of cartilage and brine

wrap fist around my wrist, whisper news
of the moon’s birth into honeyed bones,
gills slit and oxygenated blood in flower

dapple dewdrip sheen on shale comforters
hushabye stillness, tidal paused drop-jawed,
rhythmic contractions of segmented growth

egg and fang, spurted through milt and sleet
our pentangled generations engendered,
fivefold symmetry and fivefold reproduction

my dearest time traveler, daring darling stain
of vertebrate written vulnerable in mudstone,
swap spit and test newfound jaws on me

chew, taste, what’s a finger or two to me
we came all this way, this helical ladder,
joint by joint we kink and enfold together

Rick Hollon (They/fey)
Rick Hollon is a nonbinary queer author, editor, and amateur time traveler. Feir stories and poetry have appeared in Strange Horizons, Prismatica, Kaleidotrope, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. Find them on Twitter @SailorTheia.