"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." ~Thomas Gray

"Poetry unites." ~Anon

"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it." ~Emily Dickinson


Written by Charli Henley
She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Her blog: Broken Mannequin

(Fish) For Liquid

I keep
my apartment too cold
to keep the
ectothermic
(fish)
alive.
I put him
in front of the heater
to delay
a neglectful death.

I have always
been tender
with the aquatic
vertebrate
animals.

I had a tank
as a girl
in which lived
a huge black thing.

He would jump out,
flop breathlessly
on the floor,
strands of my hair
sticking
to his flesh.

As if
he had the will to die
until actually confronted
with death.

Like how the jumpers who survive
say they felt
on the way down.

I would find him
dying
and dying
on the carpet
then slip his strange body
back
into its cage.

Originally published on writer's personal blog.
Posted with consent of the writer.

6 Comments:

  1. christopher said...
    (((Charli)))

    You are very, very good.
    WHY said...
    Death is such a difficult matter to ponder, but that's exactly what I've been doing (against my will.) After all, we will all die. And, there are times in my life when I've fantasized about what a relief it will be. This poem, and the following line "As if he had the will to die until actually confronted with death," is always the dilemma for me, and probably for most who have considered escaping for good.

    There is never a happy ending when I think about this subject, but I do try to consider how good life "can" be, and though there will be an end, I prefer a natural one.

    Thank you for this poem!
    RachelW said...
    Wow, the turn this poem takes is surprising and powerful. I remember those algae eaters, and how they would try to commit suicide by climbing out if the water got too warm. Very sad, seeing them trapped that way.
    K.Lawson Gilbert said...
    Charli - this is just wonderfully odd and strange...I love it so much. Good strong images

    "As if
    he had the will to die
    until actually confronted
    with death."
    - haven't we all been there.

    And..."I would find him
    dying
    and dying
    on the carpet
    then slip his strange body
    back
    into its cage."

    I will probably remember this poem for ages....
    Charli said...
    Thank you everyone who read this poem and commented! And thanks to Nancy for posting this! I love you guys.
    Every Photo Tells A Story said...
    I'm late, but, it was my pleasure, Charli:) Thank you for allowing me to post it.

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