In the end there are scales

I’ve spent days in this market,
counting the scales of the fish.
Every time you hooked one out,
I would apologize into thin air and talk to the wells.
When you left, I visited the little man’s corner house
Every single day. I sold fish, cut open their insides.
Touched their veins and set them on fire.
Tiny hearts beating no, beating yes, beating please.
I’ve been looking them in the eye, and I think
I know what you meant. The streams taking
time away, the bubbles in the back of your throat.
And in another dimension, we could be swimming,
silently. When I get my scales back, you could
teach me to bait. You could show me.

Mitali Singh’s work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Canvas Literary Journal, FEED, and Anser Journal. She draws inspiration from the natural world, and enjoys spending time outdoors. She is seventeen years old.

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