Note: Obelisk’s Demise

IN MEMORY OF A GOLDFISH . . .

When you died a second time
and came back to life, I was worried you’d begun to make
a habit of it. You never did,
growing instead
easily to become the biggest fish in the pond
with a healthy curiosity for what lay beyond, overwater.
As a fully-grown giant,
you started fattening out sideways
and would orbit your sphere round and round the perimeter —
a trundling red planet
truly at home in your girth. I guessed
you were sick
when you took to planting yourself upside-down
in a clump of waterlilies,
poor, demented mermaid headstanding in ocean and waving her gauze
at some air-drowned mortal
like me: Farewell! Each day you waved
and each day, unfinned,
I’d wave you my dry human wave in return — Farewell!
till existence inside you shrank to a speck
and you sank
through the wreck
of your own dead weight

completely out of my depth.

Feeding Time

2014-02-24 Goldfish

I call it a “pond”, but —
is it really a cage made of water?
These sixteen fish
have their own lives there,
goldfish-gold and red against the murky deep
weed-green. Rain
merely dimples their world-view,
while for me it trounces
a mental dry, reliving dust’s tang
for my lost sense of smell
and re-opening thoughts shut up
in neglected nerves. Fish-flakes
I shatter on the surface
form a pattern or map of geographical confetti
that drifts several small shape-shifting continents
over seas. Fish stick
unlipped heads through each novel landmass, poking blunt holes
in dream as they feed
so-called “freedom” up to the front fins. Beginning intently
from a pink water-lily, some noiseless spider
skywalks the very first strand of tonight’s self-taught,
wholly engrossing
web.