← Issue 3
By Remi Recchia
My fish bleeds raspberry
blood. Blue velvet clocks &
glugs on its way to the surface
staining hard silver circus gills.
I found my fish in the bathroom
sink, head severed as a boy
might cut, eyes sunk Quasimodo
rust & slime from its inside rot.
It bends so easily, & small–
tail tucked, compliant, behind
sharp white bones, I do not tell
anyone about my fish.
My fish is at the breakfast
table when I wake up. It pours
me coffee, cooks an egg. Dead,
translucent–impossibly, it lights
two cigars to share.
My fish gets the paper,
my fish checks the mail.
It does everything a human
can do, but wetter. I stop
answering the door.
My fish tenders my resignation
while I wait at home. I don’t spend
the last paycheck all at once. My
fish needs a new hat.
I lend it my gloves & pins
monogrammed with old initials;
my fish needs them all, & also
freckles, birthmarks, scars.
I read my fish the weather forecast,
gentle-syruped & bracing. I don’t know
when to feed a fish, only that they’re
picky & sometimes eat the living.
My fish comes home in a sour
mood one day: lines were long & produce
bad. It says its checkbook is too
heavy. It cannot lift from the knees.
I wash my hands & rinse
broccoli. My fish complains about the flavor:
too bland, too salty, no flies.
After dinner, my fish buries me
in blankets for protection.
My fish stays for weeks & weeks,
one month, two months, maybe a year.
It leaves suddenly, slips
under the door with one quarter.
I sit. I stare. I do not make my own
coffee. I do not make the bed. All
I see is my fish weeping in the bath,
slow smile staining its upper lip.
Remi Recchia is a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University. His work has appeared in Barzakh Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Front Porch, Gravel, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and Haverthorn Press, among others. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Bowling Green State University.
The Roadrunner Review nominated “My Fish” for a 2020 Pushcart Prize and 2020 Best of the Net.