One fish two fish dead fish new fish

Just when I thought
there was nothing more to say
about the past—

that placeless play
the protagonist of which has no place
in this world, cannot be located in psychic space—

and that I let fly so many times, far and away,
like a sedated bird collapsed around my neck,
come to and hot to migrate—

just then she boomerangs to my heat.
That must be it.
If I could just cool down,
she could get on with it,
fly on for good,
instead of coming back to roost—
just when I felt so safe and warm,
just when my brain could process the harm and move on.

Instead the broken surface of time
bubbles back out unbidden again—
not with the old ones, but yet another fish
hopping up from the water of the past.

And the albatross
collapsed around my neck
wakes and flies, ravenous,
to scoop up again and again—
one fish two fish dead fish new fish!

Each time the bird of prey
flashing from dead to starving
in an instant that insists rest was a lie,
she was always bird-dogging on the sly,
now laughing with her happy, hungry cry.


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