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Image by Aaron Burden


the madrigal, volume v

Fish Tank

by natasha bredle

The dress I wore at my aunt’s funeral was
               emerald like drowning foliage, a confused
river swishing several meters away from the coffin.
               All I can remember now
is the first poem I ever wrote for her, which began,
               there is a place, and went on to describe heaven.
I’d never seen someone dying
               before that silent walk through hospice,
when through an open door I heard
               a machine chugging words my tongue
will never repeat. I sat at the purple fish tank,
               and for thirty minutes wanted to tap
on the glass, to turn the bulbous eyes away.
               Fish don’t see. Fish live in five-second
moments. I wanted to tap, to force
               their attention. See this, remember
the ruckus of a finger smudging your world. Again.
               Louder, searing, blurring. Rattling your
scales, fins drooping, LOUDER, flee, stupid
               flesh, TAP, flesh, white and smeared
and bobbing bobbing bobbing. Still. I held
               my hands in my lap, vision glazed until
my mother walked over and confused me.

Natasha Bredle is a young, emerging writer from Ohio. Her works have been featured in numerous international journals and anthologies, including Aster Lit, Kalopsia, and Open Minds Quarterly. In addition to poetry and short fiction, she has a passion for longer works and is currently drafting a young adult novel.

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