Patric Pepper

There are no clumsy fish.
They swim in legions,
the good angels,
taking commands from
their genes.
They fan just enough
to root themselves in water,
then flutter and break,
out of the way of
a big one, himself as
sleek as the water
he snakes in.

There are no awkward fish.
Their blood is really water,
changing easily from
hot to cold.
So at home are fish that
some eat their babies
as surely as Abraham would
have eaten Isaac.

I think their fins
are really guided
by tiny black books
lodged in their heads,
pages flipping in
the Book of Fish.

If you could say,
"Fish, swallow these hooks,"
one page would turn
in their tiny heads
and you'd have 'em.
They wouldn't know
what to do.


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