poetry by Michelle Correll

My sister’s goldfish bowl sits stacked among the dishes
along the kitchen countertop like a greasy frying pan.
We stare at one another
the fish and I.

He seeing only the reflected calendar in my eye
acknowledged no resemblance between
the two of us

despite the fishface I make
through the distorted glass.

He squints and shifts,
taking long drags of polluted water
ripping pages from the calendar with his critical gaze.

He never rose past midbowl
cast down beneath the noise pollution,
thunderous footsteps, and raised voices.

Despite the might of his will,
he remained against the tide

unable to rise bellyup or otherwise.