Guest Blog

Guest Blog

Commentary invited by editors of Scientific American

The Deep


#StorySaturday is a Guest Blog weekend experiment in which we invite people to write about science in a different, unusual format – fiction, science fiction, lablit, personal story, fable, fairy tale, poetry, or comic strip. We hope you like it.

The deep

A submersible climbs down the ladder

of the black water rung by rung


to where the crushing pressure

would end a human like a tin can


though glowing fishes swim by unbothered

their heads like meteors burning up.


At the floor, filamentous crabs

drag pale claws through the current


while mote-like animals sift downward

in a snow that falls for miles


and giant fronded worms stand in crowds

waiting for their arrival.


Next door to our apartment

is an old dog with threadbare skin


dying. Deaf and sightless,

she makes a keening at night


trying to recall the sound of her voice

or learn whether people still exist


but all she hears is a pressing quiet

that echoes with distant whales.


Although everything around is darkness

the animal gives off her own faint light.


She wants to find the bottom but

can’t quite travel deep enough.



Sulfur bubbles

Sulfur bubbles

Image Credit: NOAA

Previously in this series:

Tinea Speaks Up—a Fairy Tale by Cindy Doran (fairy tale, talking animals)

Animals Exposed to Virtual Reality Hold an Emergency Meeting by Ferris Jabr (fairy tale, talking animals, video)

The Making of a Mutant: A Fruit Fly Love Story by Ricki Lewis (fairy tale, talking animals)

Step One: A Medical School Pivot Point by Samyukta Mullangi (personal story)

A Noble Betrayal by Kirk Klocke (lablit)

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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