Finding them dead on returning from vacation,
she flushed her six African Cichlids. Forced
through the pipes, the fish came back up
in the downstairs commode, were shoved
against the lid until it opened, glided across
the carpet she chose because it called forth
the desert’s endless blonde stretching.
We were fooling around when we noticed
the green smell of lake lifting toward us,
and naked at the stairs, we saw a black
commotion. The night-blinded sliding
glass doors became the open, pressured face
of a new kind of aquarium. Later, she said
their names, which were the names of her
ex-girlfriends, and watched my bitten throat
reflect the brackish ebb and flow. They’d had
teeth lining their throats and were never kind
to her or to each other. I still dream of her
long white hand, dangling above them as they bit
at the tank’s bubbling surface, so endlessly hungry.
Katherine Fallon’s poems have appeared in Juked, Meridian, Colorado Review, and Foundry, among others, and will be featured in Best New Poets 2019. Her chapbook, ‘The Toothmakers’ Daughters’, is available through Finishing Line Press. She assists in editing Terrible Orange Review, teaches in the Department of Writing & Linguistics at Georgia Southern University, and shares domestic square footage with two cats and her favourite human, who helps her zip her dresses. Find her online at katherinefallon.com or on Instagram @ghostelephants.