The fish are drifting calmly in their tank

between the green reeds, lit by a white glow

that passes for the sun. Blindly, the blank

glass that holds them in displays their slow

progress from end to end, familiar rocks

set into the gravel, murmuring rows

of filters, a universe the flying fox

and glass cats, Congo tetras, bristle-nose

pleocostemus all take for granted. Yet

the platys, gold and red, persist in leaping

occasionally, as if they can't quite let

alone a possibility — of wings,

maybe, once they reach the air? They die

on the rug. We find them there, eyes open in surprise.

Bibliographical info

Poem copyright ©1994 by Kim Addonizio, “Aquarium,” from The Philosopher's Club, (BOA Editions, Ltd., 1994). Poem reprinted by permission of Kim Addonizio and the publisher.

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