FISH by Victor Neborak, 1993

cold-blooded beings
living out the rest of their days
in our bathtub
their long supple
bodies end in transparent tails
their eyes bulging out
just as one day they'll bulge out
from their cut off heads

they survive on the oxygen in the water
one wall separates them from my room
and another from the leaves, the mist
the streets, the buildings, the cars
among which I live

water and food are important to them
but maybe the source of light
is not important to them and its all the same
if it comes from the sun or the socket

water and food are important to them
but maybe knowing that someday they will die
is not important to them nor knowing their family connections
to other long supple bodies

and so it goes

their bodies will quiver on the floor
sharp blows will flatten their brains
their innards will be carefully pulled out
and tossed into the trash with their scales
the living fish will be transformed into a poached or fried one
and its head will be thrown into the soup

this is not an isolated incident
all humanity is involved in this
fish processing plants run with blood
while some people write poems,
paint, or make films in protest,
most say "bon appetit"

and all this is observed by silent fish spirits

translated from the Ukrainian by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps

neb3.doc 6/10/95

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