Shoal

“Why take more than we need? Because we can.”
- Richard Siken



You say something in a conversation
that goes unacknowledged; then, a couple
of beats later, someone says virtually
the same thing and everyone is like Yeah!
or That’s brilliant! The price of halfway
accommodation is invisibility and vice-
versa. Or the price of declaring your
intentions is the naturalization of
your place in the scheme of things.
In the Museum of Natural History,
once you found your way to a basement
depository where tagged and numbered
specimens of fish were suspended
in large gray vats. You looked at
the ink-stained ledgers, the dates,
the sites of capture: Palumbanes
Islands, Luzon; Mindoro, up and down
the archipelago and its straits. Blue-
green and silver, coral-red, bituminous.
Try to scoop up a handful of minnows
and they shimmer away, indignant.


 

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