Today's poem is by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Suppose You Were a Moray Eel

when ancient Romans kept glass aquariums filled to bubbling with your
brothers and old Licinius Muraena himself loved to throw slaves in the water,
where men were stripped to bits. You cannot help it—it's in your blood.
Witches wear dresses made of your skin, sleek and gleaming. Don't you see
how they preen whenever they pass a mirror? In the Ozark mountains, I
met a man who swears cooked eels turn raw if they are left uneaten and so
everyone—even children—eat them quickly. They don't want to feel the slip
and bite under bed sheets that night. You move me. You move me anguillform
and backwards, zipping through the sea with only a quick-stop for shrimp
and other creepy crawlies. Your acorn heart sees the future—does it hold a
Valentine, Be Mine! or a glassy, spectacular car crash? I am mostly blind, like you.
Let us wait here in this coral cave and count the number of smelt that swim
by. Let them go, all of them. Wait instead for what your thin veins forecast,
what they decide to pulse for and where.

Copyright © 2011 Aimee Nezhukumatathil All rights reserved
from Lucky Fish
Tupelo Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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