Think for a moment
of a fish you have known

Not the pink salmon
or crunchy fried perch
you had with coleslaw
and a baked potato for dinner.

Think about the goldfish
you won at the fair
when you threw
the yellow ball into the jar;
you wanted the iguana
but your mother said,
no lizards.

The beta you bought
whose midnight body
faded to fins
the color of a robin’s egg.

The koi in the pond
at the Chinese restaurant,
swimming endlessly beneath
the Buddhas.

I envy their muted world:
sounds reduced
to indistinct warbles and thuds
tickling the skin.

The moon, a pitted sphere
of pale cream mountains
and purple valleys,
to a fish becomes
a wavering porcelain plate
that constantly
melts and re-forms.


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