The little fish yawns like an operatic tenor,
as if he wants to sing to the clams that are digging—
to the coral reefs who are judging
that b-flat that he is belting.
The little fish yawns like my dog Buttons
after she wakes from her…
Tastes like cardboard,
you say, face scrunched,
wistful of a mother’s recipe
you haven’t yet mastered.
I swallow my offense:
this may be the last time
I hear it; your voice.
Stacked by the front door with my fellow fallen…
I cannot consent to swallow your love cold—
down my throat you pour, I choke.
At five years we left your stranglehold.
From you, my childhood was pigeonholed,
left alone, you couldn’t phone despite us being kinfolk.
I cannot consent…
Autumn evening calls,
it’s after dinner
and we are out the door.
and it doesn’t matter.
Innocent energy unfurls,
high-tops hit pavement,
We run and run
through the neighbourhood;