when i was a fish

from by peter j hochstedler



when i was a fish
i knew the waterway
i knew myself in it
it clothed me like a name

name me now,
i walk, i react,
know me now,
i walk, i react

grow me an arm,
i grope down the alleyway
digitize me,
i grapple an apple

hear me now,
i talk, i react,
build my syllables,
i wax, i theatricalize

eyes open now!
eyes open all!
skies open round--rolling back a scroll!

when i was a boy
i saw the subway
i hid myself in it
it belied me like a name

belly of the beast
i roar, i retract,
armies underground,
i fume, i attack

face me now!
beam me in the headlight!
face me now!
face me now!

when i was a god
i planted a garden
a man came along
and propped up a building

blame me now,
i hang, i bleed
face me now,
my face is a scene i play out

eyes open now--
now you are alone!
now you are a boy!
now you are a bone!

now you are a boy,
now you are a bone.


from sketches around a city, released September 4, 2011




peter j hochstedler South Bend, Indiana

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