emotional support goldfish
made my chest an aquarium.
added plants & pebbles & a filter that
churned through the night. slept
standing up so as to not spill.
i wanted a piece of the sun but i settled
for goldfish. at the pet store
they all stared at me & said
"not me not me." i promised it would
not be too bad to be loved.
promised i would buy more than one
so they wouldn't get lonely. as a girl,
we had many pet fish. betas & neon fish
& a few aquatic frogs. their lives
were like toothpicks. bones turned to hairs.
ghosts in the unswept corners & under
side tables. aimlessly looking
for a great endless water. i filled the tank.
three shiny goldfish. placed a hand
to my chest to feel their color.
named them new each day. names are
a silliness reserved only for humans.
fish call each other by futures.
fed them pellets & flakes. sung to them
like embryos. a child is always
a floating relation. requires water.
my goldfish children told me i was worthy.
i asked, "of what?" & they didn't respond
or maybe they intend to respond later.
i walked out into the street & no one knew
all the water inside me. they just saw
a human, clasping his hands together
as if in prayer. i might be
always praying or i might never be.
the goldfish made no promises.
died like hardboiled eggs one by one.
i didn't bury them. waited for each
to leave my mouth as a bird.