Monday, January 22, 2007

Poems in Vitro - Vol. 2, No. 3

En Passant


It drifts limply, being pulled
into the eddies of the filtered pump.
Suddenly twitching into life,
its caudal tail steers the goldfish
from the filter’s vortex,
only to resume its dormant state.

The other fish stop by to nudge
its shimmering body with their snouts,
taking nibbles out of its dorsal fin.
Part of its left eye has been scooped out:
the result of a late night cannibalistic raid.

Still it hangs immobile, its body folded
onto itself – the gills slow to react.
The remaining eye bulging out,
lidless against its own expiration.


Her mind floats between dilated pupils
and aqueous humor. Sputum drops
from her chin: a web-like filament,
untended and unheeded by those eyes.

She is strapped down into a mobile chair.
Her hands unable to ferry her across
the room; the hem of her nightdress lifted,
stuck between the grip of thumb and index.

Still, they come to poke her with their thoughts
and their fingers; testing the flaccidity of flesh;
gauging bone loss; weighing her longevity.


Collin said...

Love, love, love part two. Part one needs some work, specifically in the first two lines of the third stanza. I can't get an image of my mind of what the fish is supposed to look like and, if dead, why the gills would react at all.

Maybe I'm being a bit thick this afternoon.

Nick said...

Thanks Collin for the read and crit.