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A Troubling (Thema; Spring 2018)

Rob Jackson

A Troubling

It eats from cans, it naps,
It broods on gilt and ocean travel,
Swims patient counter-clockwise laps
Past fronds of plastic grass and colored gravel.

It dreams of school,
Of glints, of swimming in a troubling,
Of sunlight splashing in its pool,
Untethered to a tube that’s ever bubbling.

It knows each face,
Still yearns for guests to sit beside,
To share a glass, stare goggle-eyed,
Receiving flakes with penitential grace.

It could not be, could choose to leap then drown.
Instead it pushes on and won’t complain,
Bewildered at how things turned upside down,
Laments its mate flushed coldly down the drain.

And in the end, its aura dulling,
With scaleless patches spreading,
In water never changed it goes on sculling,
Precariously treading.