We've made the soup-of-the-day ourselves--
this bouillabaisse--now brought to a slow boil.
For good measure, the undersized fish will not be thrown back,
but will be wrung out and allowed to steep in the broth.
A cigarette butt tossed in carelessly, somewhat like a bouillon
but more in the manner of Belmondo--for presentation alone--
and no sign yet of a change in taste,
cool is still so hot, and as yet no answer to the occasional but insistent query,
what's to become of the lungs of the world?
Our own reflection on the surface distorts everything below,
as it has since the beginning
when we were a tiny piece of sludge, magically delivered,
which managed, improbably, to hold on, though barely,
and take dominion everywhere.
We were born of pot luck--
twigs, lichen, limbs, nail clippings, a communion of spare parts,
on occasion, whole carcasses of creatures
lit by the lightning of our wildest dreams,
and then stirred by time and the current we could never control.
Oh, this is ours--and must announce it for the world to hear
every chance we get.
Now it's just us and the trout--
this year the cutthroat, a beauty stocked by our benefactor
who, it seems, cannot bear the loneliness,
and, we're certain, will always give us one more chance.
Alan Walowitz is a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry. His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, comes from Osedax Press. The full-length, The Story of the Milkman and Other Poems, is available from Truth Serum Press. Most recently, from Arroyo Seco Press, is the chapbook, In the Middle of the Night, written with poet Betsy Mars.