Small Fishes

I saw a picture of you today,
that crow’s foot smile, your eyes
blue behind wisps of bang,
arm around his shoulder,
same old still,
and I felt nothing.

But then again,
I was small fish to fry,
and you laughed and said no,
you are a whale and went away
that Tiananmen spring.

And there was fear in your voice,
strung out, evacuated, long on the line
and coming home, unnerved.

I missed you at the terminal,
you didn’t wait.
But that was no nevermind.
You met me at the station,
red on your breath,
giddy with a gift.

You pressed that sterling
Shandong bell in my palm,
that small Shandong bell.
The bell I keep in the never box,
behind the broken watches
and shells.

You called me a whale once,
but when you returned from away,
you pressed a small Shandong bell
in my palm and held it there,
impressed it there with a finger,
that bell with all the small fishes,
chasing each other’s tails.

Image: Lance Anderson on Unsplash

One thought on “Small Fishes

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