Invention No. 1 in a minor
for two voices
I would catch that goldfish in my hand I remember the water trapped against the bowl’s clear plastic. falling to the level of my waist It would fit inside my thumb if from a line above my skull. the base tapered like the tip does. The sky paled at the edges Lifting, the slick scales red-orange against the palm like the dark water fissioning into white particles against the sand. the heaving of its gills like the heart’s chambers rent open with each contraction. The body, an ocean, produces Its struggle, net of bone and muscle its own salt. flexing wildly, an erratic sine wave. As a child, I A child, cruelly curious, would lick my upturned hands to taste I would take the fish in hand the salt lying in the grooves of skin, again and again and suck each finger hard to feel its thrashing coolness against my palm like bones for marrow. What a marvel it was. What a marvel the body was.