I see Skipper has a tumor right above his tail. His swim is partial and labored. Toots is going blind. I really want him to know everything, to see what is going on outside in the world where everything is as damaged as he is.
What I have learned is that when you are born, you come from the water but later, when it is over, you’re lowered down in the dirt.
And I have learned that when a fish gets sick, you don’t flush him because fish suffer in sewer systems for hours, days or weeks. So when Toots bad eye faces me, I put Skipper the one with cancer in a plastic bag. I place him outside on the ground and pulverize him with my boot again and again . . .
Inside there is no giant shoe to stomp down on me when I grieve, so I collapse onto the bed. The fish swim to the edge of the glass to see if I want to talk but right now, I don't.
Timothy Gager is the author of eight books of fiction and poetry. He has had over 200 pieces published in the last three years.. He lives on www.timothygager.com.