Death of a Carnie Fish

September 8, 2010
Death of a Carnie Fish
I came home one day
to find my fish
doing the belly-up ballet
in the orange light of the afternoon sun.
His gleaming armor put the sunset to shame.

I had won him at a carnival
not one year ago
which is surprising since carnie fish
don’t usually have that much shelf time.
I thought of naming him Killer, but decided on Bob.

I held the funeral at five
and buried him in the back yard
next to the parrot; his very good friend.
No flushing funeral at sea for Bob.
He would have liked to go on land for the first time.

I said a few words
making sure to pay my friend respect.
To sum up Bob’s life I simply said: He was the best fish.
Then I started to cry, because
I was seven and forgot to feed my fish.

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