The View from the Fishbowl
by Jenn Reese
She took everything but
It floated there in its tiny bowl, wondering what it did to lose
her love. Could it have swum faster, been cuter when she rapped
on the glass, not eaten quite so many fish flakes when they fell
from the sky like autumn leaves in an autumn breeze?
"She loved you," I told the fish, "just not enough."
"But there must have been something I could have done
differently," the fish bubbled. "There's always something."
I shook my head, tapped a few more flakes into his bowl. They
sat on the surface, slowly darkening. "Not always."
It wiggled its purple-blue fins. "Yes," it said. "Always,
"You could have noticed her more," I said. "You were always in
your own little world, your own bowl. Sometimes you didn't even
notice when she came in the room."
"I may not have showed it," said the fish, "but I noticed.
Always, always, I noticed. She wore a pink halter top yesterday
and the little shoes that make her toes look like tiny, painted
sardines all in a row. She smelled like coffee, and her eyes were
"But you didn't say anything to her," I said, dumping more
flakes into his bowl. "You swam in your little circles and ate
your food and did all your everyday fish things in your everyday
"My fish world was always hers for the asking," the fish said
"You should have offered. You should have shared. You should
have noticed. You should have spoken."
"I should have," it said. "And now she's gone."
I poured flakes onto the water's surface, covering it,
smothering it in autumn.
About the Author:
Jenn Reese has published
stories in cool places like Polyphony 4, Flytrap,
Strange Horizons, and various anthologies. Her first novel Jade
Tiger is forthcoming from Juno Books, and her illustrated chapbook
"Tales of the Chinese Zodiac" is now available from Tropism Press. Jenn
lives in Los Angeles, where she practices martial arts, plays strategy
games, and sits in traffic. You can follow her adventures at her
Prose poem © 2006 Jenn Reese.