I’d probably already know the question. I wouldn’t mouth what,
what like a screen door smacks in the wind what, what would it take,
could I divulge it? I wouldn’t cringe between the hair-triggers
and eyes charcoaled with grief. Did I do that to you? I snap hard
against our frame. A goldfish may leap out of its tank, suffocate.
A betta may just bludgeon itself to death. When you go, you have
two choices: one is lonely, the other is angry. To tell you the truth,
I never understood it—the fish I’ve had were less dramatic:
A hovering orange blimp one morning, or a stranger-danger lesson
with a slow bacterial decent. It turns out I’m ill-equipped to burn
a house down. For starters, my hands won’t unclinch, I have eight
blood moons rising, my jaw hung open for days like a clamshell
and the fruit’s dodgy. You look at me and I know: you no longer smell
anything sweet. I wonder if pheromones are like oil lamps,
if you can reach the end of your wick and Lights out, Baby!
If that explains this smolder, or that my left elbow has been bent
out of shape without the log of your body to contain it. At night
I beat at impossible shapes: a cookie cutter star, a cartoon frog—
my voicebox sore from croaking But if I know you, I’ll know
what you do
but I don’t and I don’t.