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Elizabeth Barrette's poetry has appeared in a wide variety of publications. She is also the Managing Editor of PanGaia and Assistant Editor of SageWoman; she selects poetry for both magazines.


Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@cyberus.ca.

All materials copyright 1996-2001 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).

Surface Tension

by Elizabeth Barrette

Floating weightless, flying underwater --
The huge flukes move with easy grace.
A dark eye, no larger than my own,
Meets my gaze and opens a window
To whatever soul may reside
Within the largest brain on the planet.
I press my hands to the glass,
Mesmerized by the dimpled, shimmering
Proximity of such power. Thicker still
Than any glass, there lies between us
An unbreachable culture gap, and the
Indivisible film that separates ocean
From air. A call too low to hear
Thrums and mumbles through my bones;
I cannot even tell -- comment, question,
Or answer? And then the dim shape
Slips away, before I can even
Wave goodbye. How can we hope, I wonder,
To embrace the alien, when parts
Of our own planet remain so ineffably
Out of reach?