Sometimes I sit in front of an aquarium
and imagine what it would be like to be a fish.
The light is golden-green where it shines
through the leaves of the waving plants, and
the water is clear and soft -- except at the edges.
I imagine that fish don't understand glass.
I can't look at a river without
thinking myself into it.
The water here is silken and twisted,
skeins of current running fast and slow,
the taste of home pulling salmon upstream
like a silver fishhook without a barb.
Whenever I see the ocean,
I remember the fish within it.
Color becomes meaning,
and life requires motion;
every surface is colonized,
incorporated into the ecosystem,
all flotsam and jetsam seen as
fair game, finders keepers,
but I can't help recalling
that this is still litter.
The human body is
a vessel for the spirit, but
it doesn't have to be a cage.
I have learned how to slip out and
see the world through fisheye lenses,
a kind of mental gymnastics that
keeps my soul limber and free.