a fish is a glissom clot of blood and tissue wrapped in scale mail
moving in endless loops in the bowl where the glass is wrought to
a cool sleekness if touched, a hollow soundness if tapped,
a fish is light, bent and irradiated into gossamer fins and a frothsome tail
and threaded throthsome through gills like horizon edges and
scooped out of a filthy tank of its fulsome siblings
for eighteen cents, so a fish is by weight
perhaps the cheapest animal life
available readily for purchase.
a fish is a holy heart and a swelling swim bladder and empty eyes
and the need to keep moving, moving—
eventually a fish is frightful and ghoulsome, a bloated ghost of decay,
thrown into the toilet or the trash or the brambly bushes,
a fish is found lightly because it is fairly low-effort.
a fish is lonesome and lowsome and
fairly low-effort but always too much
responsibility, way more
wretched responsibility than eighteen easy cents implies.
a fish is leonine and lurid and ragged and wrothsome with its
black and gold, its saffron and pearl, its eyes
that are hemispheres or whelped worlds. a fish is in theory
trying really hard to survive in a curved crucible of a world it was
brightsome born into but not designed for.
a fish is gluttish and glothsom and will gobble food
until it’s gaily doomed to agonish death.
a fish is cells endlessly limned and layered in some fishy blueprint,
not knowing where it lives or limns or where it’s going or given,
loops, a too-small tank, water that’s whirlsome and stillsome and
hard to breathe, endless loops for survival, this fish,
this lissome grace,
this gracesome goldfish, so greaved and griven, so lived and living.
Listen to Natasha read "Goldsome Fish" below:
NATASHA KING is a Vietnamese American writer and nature enthusiast. Her poetry has appeared in Okay Donkey, Ghost City Review, and others, and has also been featured in the 2020 Best of the Net Anthology. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, prowling, and thinking about the ocean.