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HYDROZOANS By Marianne Villanueva



Drifting, midwater. Jellies look alien, like something from Plan B from Outer Space.


Teacher looks entranced. The students can tell she's out of her body, out of her mind, out of the classroom.


Teacher is thinking, hydrozoans. She's thinking, bioluminescent. Order, narcomedusae.


Students are thinking: It’s the first week back after the holidays. Here we go again. 





Decades later, on the Nostradamus. She's made a specialty of studying members of this taxa. 


The ocean depths are dark as dark. But wherever she points the submersible beam, there are shapes moving. Black, triangular. 


There is still so much the world doesn't know. Of course her family worries. But it’s her tenth dive. She knows the drill.


And even if the worst happened, she knows it will be quick. She prefers that way rather than growing old. She’s told her family, many times: She doesn’t do regret.


Poor Miss Diaz, she thinks. Stuck in her little white blouse, her flowered skirt. Pointing at figures on the blackboard while her students steal glances at their phones.


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