HUMAN ACHIEVEMENTS: GOLDFISH
i buy a goldfish and tell it a secret. every day,
when i feed him, i say what it is that i want.
i make a thousand wishes on this fish and
nothing changes. you came by without warning,
and my room was hidden under books and wires.
what you were gonna teach me, more importantly,
what i've gotta learn. i used to have a capacity and now
turn slowly in circles in my room, sobbing and eating
the fat off my thighs. i make jokes. i'm particular.
i am terrified that if you love me i will owe you
something i do not want to give. something i can't
readily take back. it's cruel but not to you. it's
self preservation except i started this. i kiss the side
of the fishbowl and lie: you are the onliest thing i want, fish.
i, too, dream
of where i am as where i'm supposed to be.
how i now saunter up to strangers & friends alike muttering, look into my heart
holding my ribcage open with my own steady hands.
when the ufo crashed into our backyard pool and the other kids scattered
but i pressed against the sliding glass door like
and what? like i've not chased boys around the cul-de-sac with a knife,
like i didn't mean it, like i didn't not mean it. i want to tell about the most
idyllic childhood traumas, the crash & summertime ghosts & that time
i wanted a bee for a pet. how about these ides, asshole? i am fond
of misplacing my anger on you. dredging up the drowned barn and each bloated
cow to lay on your hearth. a sweet rot, & gifts. go on and scold me,
i'm listening. i'm amused by every single one of my faults.