Eel Facts

by Taylor Brunson

What’s electric, uneeled, 
is a knifefish. In a pulse,
language, a reading

of the room. The electric eel
is shaped like an eel. 
The electric eel will produce

electricity like a knifefish.
I tell you how electric
eels swim backwards

and forwards, thriving
in stagnant water, ribbon
of a fin making its own

waves. How electric eels 
have taught me how little
it means to be named

and unnamed, whether
there is a peace to be made 
between what others make

of you and what you know
of yourself. Stunning
unribbon, unblade, unfish,

uneel. Electric, homing
where a threat can be carried
furthest. I know what you are

but what am I if I cannot cut
the water, here in the place
where I can be called anything.


Taylor Brunson is a poet living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, whose work has recently been featured in or is forthcoming from Non.Plus Lit, perhappened, Dwelling Literary, Horse Egg Literary, and Interstellar Literary Review. Taylor serves as an assistant poetry editor for Four Way Review and an assistant nonfiction editor for Nashville Review.