Moniza Alvi


Fish

I envied my wife her nightly visions.
She'd lay each one proudly on the bed

like a plump, iridescent fish,
and ask me to identify it.

Some nights I'd even manage to trap
my own by concentrating hard,

submerging the net into blue-black waters.
I'd place my catch on the rippling sheet.

So we'd have our own two fish, almost
indecent, nuzzling each other's mouths,

soul-fish, awkward in our hands,
hungry, as if our lives were a host

of crumbs to gulp in greedily.
They'd beat their tails very fast

until we could only see the one dream
moving between us, or feel stirring

one enormous fish, with our own lives
grieving, joyful, growing in its belly.
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