by Chelsey Minnis

The aquamarine becomes invisible when you place it into the sea. It seems like birds should have aquamarine beaks that they can dip into the sea and therefore surprise the fish. They could also sing aquamarine songs. If you borrowed someone’s aquamarine, swallowed it, and jumped into the sea, then you would not become invisible. But your soul would become visible and all the fish would try to bite you. If you put an aquamarine onto any surface other than the sea, then it should be visible. If you put on an aquamarine choker and look in the mirror and don’t see anything, then you must be the sea.

SOURCE: “The Aquamarine” appears in Chelsey Minnis‘s collection Zirconia (Fence Books, 2001), winner of the 2001 Alberta Prize, available at

IMAGE: “Self-Portrait with Choker” by Frida Kahlo (1933).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chelsey Minnis received a BA in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and studied creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including Zirconia (2001), Foxina (2002), Bad Bad (2007),  and Poemland (2009). She lives in Boulder, Colorado. Read more of her work at