Becoming (from memory and a Hocąk tale)


some futile thing that can’t be secured

(attention or a plastic toy – does it matter?)

he slams his bedroom door

stands for a long moment before

the goldfish bowl

and knocks (a part of him,

split off, will call it an accident, knowing it isn’t)

the food container

into the water – their small happy mouths

open and open

(greedily we fill ourselves with regret)

the fish float on the surface

suddenly he finds it hard to breathe


two men go out hunting

their quarry (a racoon, or a spirit in disguise)

disappears into the hollow

of an immense tree and they find there

a fish

one plucks it out and cooks it

offers morsels to the other, who isn’t sure

but wanting what his friend has, he takes and eats

immediately becoming

unbearably thirsty

he drinks but no water is enough

frantic, he wades out into the river

scales cover his skin, gills open in his neck

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