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Aliens Among the Brittle Stars

January 27, 2010

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

Our false fins agitate motes
in turquoise sunbeams, in salt
currents that sluice oils
from our skin into the waters

where mantas raise their velvet wings
near a chorus of nun-gray angelfish,
as the shadow of a nurse shark
passes before our masked eyes.

Rush-hush — waves moan above
our bodies, above the delicate life
of brittle starfish we watch crawl
over beds of coral bones.


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A former qarrtsiluni co-editor (with Lucy Kempton), Katherine Durham Oldmixon (website) recently edited a special issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review dedicated to ekphrastic poetry. Her chapbook Water Signs, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, was released in January 2009 by Finishing Line Press. Katherine lives healthily and happily in Austin, TX, with her husband, Arturo Lomas Garza.

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  1. February 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Lovely, old friend, sharp as ever.

  2. Barbara LaMorticella
    February 23, 2010 at 2:56 am

    So lush, lush, so vividly lush. And “an alien among the brittle stars”– is a fabulous line. But i’m stretching to see more than the most delicate link with health here….hmmm…

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