Sea Monsters (6 of 12, half marathon, attempt at prose poem)

Marine biologists found a sea monster on the coast of China. It was dead and badly decomposed, gargantuan in size, and with a stench, so foul, people who came to view the creature cupped their hands over their mouths and noses. A man wearing wire-rim glasses and a bow tie said it was a form of whale—how important to catalogue all living things. Who’s to say it’s a leviathan just because of its large jaw bone? New species emerge all the time, not just coral and sponges—referred to as the trees of the sea—but also Loriciferans that live without oxygen, once thought impossible except by the simple, single-celled bacteria. They’ve found prehistoric fish, believed to be extinct, still swimming the sea. And consider the Turritopsis dohrnii. Scientists say it’s immortal; more factually stated, it never dies. This jellyfish with its free flowing tentacles moves with grace, continuously regenerating. Shall we worship it, a god; declare it undead or resurrected? The spectators in China nodded their approval for the beast now identified and categorized. They kept their hands over their faces; breathe recirculated air from their palms back into their body cavity.

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