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The Vagaries of Fishes

Written by: Judith Skillman | Biography
 After they passed beneath us I could tell
more would be coming, beneath the sand,
under the bejeweled sky, under the first
layer of earth where water exists 
in flutes and eddies.
I lay there with you, not wanting to leave your side even for them, the miraculous creatures of sex and sediment, the ones who obey currents and ladders, blindly seeking out their own individual deaths, their pink flesh peeling against the rocks.
I saw the spool of eggs, endless possibilities that would not be.
How they labored to breathe the air that night, caught under our queen-sized bed, the male and the female, Silvers and Kings whose pale eyes saw into the lidless dark.
I could tell they loved each other without speech, circling there apart from water, and I remembered a snippet from a French film in which a woman masturbates with a fish, and thought how progressive I had become in retrospect.
There we were, left behind by the tides, deserted by the institution of wind on a night so soundless it could have been our first night together, before we became victims of those slippery, dirty, messy words.



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