Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 3
Combing though sweet refuse, I catty-corner a white mouse,
arch overhead and hiss, as dusk paints the alley red.
They call me Tulip at home, but out here I’m a tigress.
In the trash can, my prize writhes, patted by a sheathed paw.
I yowl in the guest bedroom when the Mistress comes home.
She rears from the corpse, which I lick with my eyes.
Behind walls like mine, such sleepy felines.
At dusk they twitch with echoes of the hunt.
A dumb tenderness swishes in sunlight,
just kisses glass.
Fins like orange kites flutter,
entice no double other.
Within a bowl-molded horizon,
sudden glimpses of a similar.
Afternoon spreads its grays.
The bowl is mazed with rays.
The family slams home. Fins fold.
A wave of noise explodes
to a sprinkle of food
below the shadow of a hovering god.
We glimpse each other in facing crevices, waiting
for younger fish to misjudge their way. We both blink
at a water-wavy, mirroring shape—and I blend
back against the home reef, having seen a squid
identical to me just once before: a bespotted
blue sponginess dancing in pink brine,
then disappearing behind sea lettuce fronds.
A school of mammoth tuna moons
across, more than a mile long—
and by the time the tuna are gone,
a strong current pushes through,
erasing the settled world.
Again we spot each other, peaking
out of coral, so I spray. It sprays.
Ink billows, and all’s eclipsed.
© Gregg Mosson