Foolish Fish

And it always ends the same way
summers ago lovers met and lingered in the sweet
and like poetry they loved
and like fate they suffocated in the violet.

It is one way of doing things:
Breathe (here) to feel these moments.
Let’s switch places and watch the world turn for awhile (and you can smoke if you want to)

I read in the stars today that it could never be
they twinkled, winking bright eyes at me
The dolphin-man-prophet told me you could never think of me
who has the time to resuscitate a fish?

let’s get to the core (soul!) of things (let’s shout)
Dance with me, let my hips swing in time with yours,
and put your hands (here)
Watch me, because I heard from the mouth of God
that you were no good for me.
Time is stifling.

Malleable, mold me and I will bend
reedlike I will sway in the wind
Many positions you can fuck me in.

Didn’t you know I was a dreamer?
didn’t you see me dreaming with my fish eyes, just waterin’ up in the eyes constantly?
Things are getting Kafkaesque!
My ceiling reaches my head and I cannot breathe
I have woken up a fish, lungless
There is no time to linger in the air, sweet—for time is stifling.

And my momma had told me you were cunning,
sly fox she read to me (fables to plant my dreamin’ seed)
and Malcolm I read to her
give me my voice back and wipe the nigger off me.

A star fell from the sky today and sprouted in my head
I dreamed we will never be
because my gills are not adapted for land, love
I asked God (while I swam and conversed with 3 dolphins):
What does it mean that I have also dreamed of drowning?
doomed to die of the gasping kind

I learned you are inquisitive
Lick your lips and touch me (there)
Reduce me to my organs and maybe you can find air too, but time is stifling.

Summers ago, when they were young and hopeless
lovers melted in the sweet violet
delicate like poetry they loved
But Shakespeare had already fated these two
It is written on wire that I am glasslike, frail;
transparent in my love and gaunt in my mourning
You are wired to be indifferent.

The ground did not tremble
nor did waters creep into the veins of downtown
But I did shake and groan when I heard from the full lips (for he is a black man) of God
that I was a foolish fish to think it could be.

And I knew from the beginning that you were all male
male hands and male limbs and male sweat and male love
and I wanted to curl up in this man-thing
but I learned I cannot breathe in this air, my body is scarred in the healing

You are many things, too many people to keep count of,
and I am a dreamer.
God told me that I, foolish fish, cannot love these, for how will they seed me?
how can anything grow of this?

I am more than lips hips skin and gills

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2 thoughts on “Foolish Fish

  1. Wow. Much like the foolish fish, I was left gasping for breath when I finished this poem! Reading it was like taking a hard punch in the gut, and feeling the sharp pang of love and yearning and regret and realization. It was the remembrance of the exquisite suffering of love that I could feel beating just beneath the surface of these words; and while it may be too much for some to revisit, I found these words to be pitch perfect. Bravissima.

  2. Wow.
    What a powerful piece.
    “…wired to be indifferent.” Indeed.
    Tremendous sexual energy. Longing. Passion. Sadness.
    Well done.
    “I am more than lips hips skin and gills.”
    Indeed you are. Indeed you are.
    Well done.

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