Size / / /

It had been muggy lately,
But I was surprised to see eels wandering around downtown.
They tried to blend in, but it was hopeless,
With their wet, shiny gray skin and absent limbs.
Besides, they tried to ride the buses without paying,
And the ones driving cars were inattentive.
It was like they didn't even see the lights change colors.

Tuesday our secretary was missing;
In her place was a giant eel.
The thing had the effrontery to drive up in her car,
Complete with "ELZBTH6" vanity plate.
I gave it short shrift
and had sashimi for lunch.

Elizabeth didn't show up Wednesday either,
And she didn't answer her phone.
I was half hoping for another eel
(the first had been quite tasty)
But there was nothing, not even a shrimp.

That afternoon I noticed that
My next-door neighbors had moved out
some time during the day.
A small school of grouper had moved in and I
Suppose they bought the place,
Though how they floated the loan so quickly
I cannot fathom.

Thursday the staff at the sushi bar
across from my office
Had been replaced by a school of plaice,
And mixed in with the human students on campus were
Flounder, sole, and even a few skates
(or rays; I can never tell them apart).
They wore backpacks, t-shirts, etc. just like
the regular students,
Though the shoes just wouldn't stay on the sole.

Today I didn't see Joey from the motor pool,
And they seem to have hired a large octopus
to take his place.
Also, I'm not eating at the sushi bar anymore,
Because they've made some changes to the menu.
I can't read the Japanese characters,
But the photos accompanying the new menu items are
quite disturbing.
Next week I'll bring my lunch.


Copyright © 2002 David C. Kopaska-Merkel

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David C. Kopaska-Merkel plays with sand and water for the state of Alabama. During the lunch hour he communes with the shades of dead arthropods. Sometimes, poetry is the result. For more about him, visit his website or his Cafe Press store.

An aether compactor by trade, David Kopaska-Merkel began writing poetry after witnessing the Ascension of Tim. He won the Rhysling award for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He has written 23 books, of which the latest is SETI Hits Paydirt  (Popcorn Press). Kopaska-Merkel has edited Dreams & Nightmares magazine since 1986.  You can reach him via email.
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