Size / / /

Content warning:

   Alas the calls are heard around the world—conch shells far and wide states to continents. The mortal children have risen. Centuries of preparation to return them to the ocean culminates today.

I taste enemy blood in the water.

I close my eyes

immersed into the liquified despair

of our ancestors

submerged in all the ways we have wept


I learned to breathe in the pressure-filled waters of heartbreak and collective mourning



My fin cuts through the bioluminescent

memories as I bring the mortal freedom seekers to a place of refuge.


My eyes black, pupilless, & full like our skin

The humans hesitant at a Siren surfacing (they have learned well)

My sharp teeth glint, the mortal children of my children continue on, led by elder healers

the fire blazes behind us

as we escape


we go back where we came from.

while navigating ocean catacombs


Leaving behind flames & rage

no longer trapped in our throats.

Koupe Tet, Boule Kay

is heard echoing in the ancient wind


We collectively dive into the coral pathways to freedom.



An underwater railroad meets the Haitian Revolution and in both places we are free.


I sojourn

lead those

who can no longer

find comfort

in the heaviness of systemic hysteria

placed upon shoulders

that have no business carrying these burdens.


Ocean hallways warp into

underwater bridge crosses.

A freedom walk,

mortal babies & families all together.

A million diaspora march

to a promised land.


Where abundance            truly is birthright.

A land where they do not fight over the chance to survive.

They can all pitch in to uplift. To free.

To expand their majestic existence.


This time whiteness will not bore holes into melanated bodies. Revenge & reverie meet.


Exhaustion is written on their face,

an imprint of sandpaper lives


I swim forward showing each the way. Abandoned land

where our people mortal & otherwise            have actually lived in joy for centuries.


Away from the bludgeoned brutality

of a place

they were beaten down

until they called their shackled abode

a house


The secret passed in oral tradition,

the stars align & the ocean opened up

for the first time in eons

to receive its children

grant them passage


orphans—return home, heal,

leave behind the breaking of curses.


from the island—

Our revenge suffices

we see the dismembered states in a wildfire and smoky patches draw our rage in the sky.


Never to be inhabited again.

As the ocean closes with the waning moon.

We—never to be extracted from again


   I give another breath through my gills—ensure the coast is clear—as the humans return to this majestically hidden home safely tucked in between the triangle of Bermuda—the pathway bioluminescent and swirling. A rush of luminescent coral and silver scales displaying schools of fish that follow the echoes of my kin’s echolocation. Swarms of whales and dolphins protect the sides as the opening unveils a one-way pathway. They all move forward with urgency, the prayers of grandmothers current and ancient protecting them against any harm.


   I taste undeserved rage in the wind—my eyes capture a male rough draftian—mortal boy in my ancient eyes or the humans call it a young man—yelling and irate as if he does not know what it is to float between the nothingness. He seems to have a life feeling as conqueror and not conquered, he beats his chest as if he is his own type of god. He aims to make the weary human kin a spectacle. Attempt to prevent them from knowing true freedom. Some stand ready to fight, I am impressed but I tell the others of the water to lead them away.


   I turn my back on the portal knowing I can always access Woz Quartz through ancient rites. How dare I say no to vengeance I remain ravenous for? My teeth sharpen further, glistening the reflections of moonlight and I laugh at this chance. I will teach it what is the wrath of a god among the blaze and ash of its dying planet.

Lysz Flo is an Afrolatine Caribbean poet, The Estuary Collective member, a podcast host of Creatively Exposed, a Grubstreet educator, and a Voodoonauts Summer 2020 Fellow. She released her poetry novel Soliloquy of an Ice Queen, March 2020. Her work can be found in FIYAH and Hooligan Mag. You can find her books and more info at
Current Issue
4 Dec 2023

“Ask me something only I would know.” You say this to your wife because you know you’re human. You can feel it in the familiar ache in your back, and the fear writhing in your guts. You feel it in the cold seeping into your bare feet from the kitchen floor. You know you’re real because you remember.
now, there is the shape...humanoid, but not / necessarily human
He came from a salt mine that used to be solid all the way through
Wednesday: The Free People’s Village By Sim Kern 
Issue 27 Nov 2023
Writing While Disabled 
Issue 20 Nov 2023
Issue 13 Nov 2023
Issue 6 Nov 2023
Issue 30 Oct 2023
Issue 16 Oct 2023
Issue 9 Oct 2023
Issue 2 Oct 2023
Issue 25 Sep 2023
Issue 18 Sep 2023
Load More
%d bloggers like this: