by Julian Canlas

the room gleams like water–all of them here are fish

from either the sea or the lake, salt and fresh,
their fins flapping–a vision of ecstasy, the smell–

pungent redefined, their slippery scales glimmering
in their pursuit of perfection. how do they survive

in open air? they hold their lives for a long while,
create a suspension of disbelief surrounding their existence,

stencilling this closed spaces with an abundance of oxygen.
no pescetarian exists here, no danger exists for the gill’ed!

they are cold-blooded, easy to adapt even to the hadal
depths of reality. in their eyes, everything exists in a stasis,

as if a dream, where perfection dawdles not within the gifted
but every being of privilege; in each fishy perspective, the room

and the fish amalgamate into a setting or the world, both
limited and expansive, lit by a thick sun that blossoms

into a glare. no one dares to talk to one another, or acknowledge
each other’s existence. i am, here, breathing and living.

the room is mirror less for me to know who i am. i want
to ask them if i also myself under a suspension of disbelief, or maybe

i am god bipedaled, a haze of fantasy stuck on each fish’s skin

like a spray of salt. i do see the atlantic in this room. profusely sweating,
i coat the silence with nervousness that exceeds all paraphylectics.

Featured image by muzski

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