The Aquarium at Alcatraz
Maybe one of the men who broke out
and never surfaced did not drown;
there are rumors, anyway. In the myth
more sacred inside, though—
the myth stashed in dream and mattress
and hippocampus—a yardbird frees
some fish. Each time it’s told, the release
increases. First a no-name cups
a guppy in both hands and trots it out
to sea; next thing, Al Capone
is liberating the warden’s own jewel damsel.
Story on story, ten blennies swell
to a shoal of triggerfish; the bowl to a tank;
the tellers pour the glass box full
of so many gallons, a whole gang gets in
on carrying the aquarium.
From a distance, they could be pallbearers.
Until they tilt the tank. Maybe
grave robbers, then. But it does not signify;
joyfully they tumble their plunder
into a likely ribbon of ocean. And how quickly
the current takes it: the fins
and water, plastic wrack and dulse, pea gravel,
sunken donjon, and all. 
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