If you mess with a poet, you are likely to end up in a poem.


I know I’m not a typical fish. I swim different.

My suit is plain, polyester. Black.

I am polite to the other fishes, especially the slow ones

who show up every day and carefully swim their laps.


I hope to swim more conventionally someday.


But you

you with the white swim cap and a suit like mine

you crowded me to the lane’s edge this morning.

I moved over to make room. I was happy to share.

I always share. You didn’t budge. Stared me down.

“Can’t you do your water walking somewhere else?”

(I aqua jog!)

I looked at the kids in the shallow end and said, “I guess.”

Joined them and their new goggles.


It didn’t matter — even though I was there first —

until you let another fish share your lane,

a beautiful fish in a tropical suit with perfect form.


So, it’s just me?


Listen, lady.

You’re going to have to throw me out to shore tomorrow

over and over and over again and again and again

because you are not the only fish in the sea

and I share.