The other night I dreamt a strange dream of a fish that I’ve been thinking about ever since
What follows below are the events.
The fish was long and silver and it lay in my arms swaddled in cloth like a child
(The fish had no name).
And though I was repulsed by it I felt deeply that it needed affection, and
Perhaps I needed the same.
So I held the fish in my arms and though it did not speak
I felt that its spirit was meek,
And that it was grateful to me for that small length of protection and care—
The fish and I in mutual calm for a long time remained there.
But at a certain point I began to understand that the fish desired to be free.
The fish leapt from my arms,
And I would like to think that it dreamt of reaching the sea.
But the fish was delicate and weak and it hit the earth with a dull sound—
Fearfully, I ran to its side where it lay, pitifully mangled, upon the ground.
The silver scales and the pink flesh had fallen away to expose a thin network of bone,
And the fish whimpered in pain looking at me through eyes that were white with angst and I
Wanted to tell the fish that it wasn’t alone.
The fish that I had held but moments ago flailed in pain where it lay and
It writhed in tactile distress,
And I was very
No, I don’t know if I wept for the fish that I had abhorred but cared for or if I would have helped it or if I would have come to its aid,
But it made me afraid
That I could offer it neither comfort nor any respite from its physical anguish
Or the suffering the maimed fish felt through the final moments it languished—