Urchin

These illustrations are based on a poem I wrote almost a decade ago while finishing up my English degree at the University of Guelph, and were painted in watercolour and gouache.

Urchin

I feel my ribcage
as I lie in bed, my fingers splayed
over the furrows as it rises and falls,
a sea urchin breathing under my skin,

breathing
in an ocean of strange creatures:

sea cucumber heart,
jellyfish lungs,
anemone guts.

The urchin’s spines under my skin
feel like bones
and they arc architectural,
masquerading as a skeleton,
obscuring the fact
I don’t have a bone in my body,
just anemones and jellyfish and that
one urchin
breathing

under my skin.