Presence, Absence (Anna Prints a Living Specimen)
Nothing in the herbarium compares to these tendrils collapsed over intertidal rock. Delicate, filamentous strands dry to dust, defy collection. What she gathers will not last the day.
One green-ochre length, curved along the axis. Aerocysts, strung pearls; closed conceptacles swell on terminal threads.
In wan sun a print will take twice the time. She waits. The specimen must remain motionless.
The seaweed disintegrates as she lifts it, but by now she knows—the more insubstantial in life, the finer, the more precise the print.
Megan Spiegel is an MFA candidate at Western Washington University, where she serves as Hybrid Genre Editor for the Bellingham Review. Her prose and collaborative works appear in journals such as Sweet and Fugue.