TSM 105

lost in a sadness of gold,
our fish killed herself in the night –
swimming up the bubbler jamming her body
in the tube, hose to the car exhaust
of deadly oxygen, engine running

toodle-loo goeth before the fall –
she’d tried it before, I’d rescued her
over and over what sorrows
went unseen in the bright mirror
she’d finned and scaled for us

water the unbearable clarity
of loneliness –
no company but the ennui of snails
and the alien deep-sea diver
unspeaking as a statue

the children came down to breakfast
and gathered round a bier of Kleenex
her wet outline the Shroud of Turin –
a Jesus-fish relic too sacred
to flush

its been years; I’ve been remiss
doesn’t everyone deserve
a proper suicide note –
do the same for me as I would for you
if it ever comes to that

For The Sunday Muse

20 thoughts on “TSM 105

  1. Alas, poor Toodle-loo! Seems she had a proper burial …. and an eloquent suicide note. Hopefully there are no bubblers in koi heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course we shouldn’t smile in the face of fish suicide … but I smiled through the end of your poem. Hope that doesn’t make me sound ghoulish.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You should start a fish obituary….When the fins grow weak, don’t put me in front of the neighbor’s window. She dances in the nude and I get exhausted trying to swim her out of my view. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know, find this very sad. Yes, you’re talking about a pet fish–and I love the “sadness of gold”–but how many people live circumscribed lives, barely seen by those around them the figurative snails and mute divers. How much loneliness can someone take before they can’t cope anymore? The idea of someone writing their note after the fact is surprising, bittersweet, and terribly sad. How many Jesus-fish are out there, those we say we love or care about but who aren’t really seen or included? Gosh I just find this poem brilliantly blue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I did not mean for this to trivialize suicide. Thank you for looking past my flip language and seeing something more sad. I had hoped to hit that note by indirection at least by the end, always difficult to avoid falling into bathos. Of course, I wouldn’t write an equivalent poem about my dog or a human friend dying of cancer. Contemplating all of this.


      1. I know. Your intent was clearly lighter than my take. But that’s what it said to me. Sort of Eleanor Rigby. Really enjoyed the poem, though, and glad you gave me a the heads up on it!

        Liked by 1 person

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