[wpaudio url=”/audio/june11/muslim.mp3″ text=”listen to this poem” dl=”0″]
A seascape of plastic plants
and colorful grains of sand
replaces the ocean
and its hoard of sunken ships.
The fishes glimmer with the grace
of small creatures who do not know
that they have been trapped.
They displace the water, twitching their fins
as they conquer the immensity
of their thirty-gallon abode.
The white of the walls surrounding the tank
does not reflect on their translucent eyes.

Here, soul is an accessory, a clinging barnacle
with a name, a blue-lit coldness with no teeth.
The air pump gurgles. The food pellets
are buoyant as ever. The lighting
is a lost splinter of sunlight. Adequate,
the aquarium tank is the nursery
that becomes a world that becomes a coffin.