Size / / /

She found her

fishy skin under a false

bottom in his tool cabinet

in the garage, cleaning up

after the wake.

She ran her fingers over

the hard lozenges of scales

remembering when

they kept her

in the sea; the sensual

tingle of the lateral line

so unlike anything she felt

on land.

At last, now, she could go back,

she could

splash/vanish with only a ripple

but the children, and soon

there would be grandchildren

which a fish could never visit

except as dinner and she

folded up her skin and

patted it before she closed

the drawer again.




David C. Kopaska-Merkel won the 2006 Rhysling Award for a collaboration with Kendall Evans, edits Dreams & Nightmares magazine, and has edited Star*Line and several Rhysling anthologies. His poems have appeared in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. A collection, Some Disassembly Required, winner of the 2023 Elgin Award, is available from him at jopnquog@gmail.com.
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