How to Ask the Fish King
He likes the scent of waterlilies before they open. String your line with two bouquets of tomorrow, half an apple, a long-walked shoe, a handful of mini
questions, and a moss-headed water nymph of unknowable origins. (1) (2)
Wait for the water to rise. When it kisses your sneaker tips with its muddled lips, throw your offerings into the sweet deep where the pool is black as stars and as far away. Wait. Drift. Forget what you meant to ask the king in the first place. (3)
Remember it is your grandfather who taught you this. Nightcrawlers in the hole of a flashlight. Rain drumming the hood of your too-big coat. His glasses shined with water as you walked to the river together, and threw in your bounty. (4)
Writing this makes you forget the fish king altogether. Remember instead reflections of a green-hooded girl eating apples in the pale-headed morning, the worm on the hook, the beautiful arc of a line thrown across a mirror. Remember the hook and the catch. Remember the slippery glee of a new kind of praise.
Was there ever a fish king? Do grandfathers count? (5)
(1) If a moss-headed water nymph can’t be found, bought or stolen, it is possible to substitute a green-haired troll doll.
(2) Results not guaranteed.
(3) It was something about love. Or life. Or …
(4) This is actually a thank you poem.
Image taken with iphone at the kitchen table.
Words written on the couch.
Time Taken 5 minutes.
Brain on ennui. Still.
*note: All poems for the month of April are memoir poems in the form of lists.