paper fish

paper fish

when my sister was six or some age

thereabouts, she gave me a paper fish

longer than her arm, colored with an array

of shades pulled from her box of dull pastel

crayons. the fish’s head is red, but some scales

were lime or purple or yellow, a fish to rival

rainbows, a gift from a child, a child herself

a token from god who lets life continue as it is,

a spiraling swirl of water flowing endlessly

into a small hole at the beckoning of a lever.


the fish is already fraying although not even

a year has passed for paper is paper despite

the vibrant impermanence that dots our

thoughts. a caged bird sings inside the mind,

and for all of our straining we can barely

hear the notes, the vocal cords’ faint strumming.


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