Nowhere to go but up from the Mariana Trench floor.
The oceanographer sweeps her light and camera
over strange creatures that don’t amongst themselves
have a word for light. They aren’t sad from
constant darkness, didn’t know before
of their deprivation. And will have forgotten soon.
Imagine the pressure five miles deep.

Todd Mercer won the Dyer-Ives Kent County Prize for Poetry in 2016, the National Writers Series Poetry Prize for 2016, and the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts Flash Fiction Award for 2015. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, appeared at Right Hand Pointing. Mercer’s works appear in: Bartleby Snopes, Blast Furnace, Cheap Pop, Gravel, and many others.

See another of his works in special issue 50/50.