the things that guppies do

I desire to justify my words
every time I write a poem,
to sit beside you and explain,
no, this, this, is what I mean,
this actually happened,
this was a dream,
or else a memory,
a photograph,
a song that held me
captive for days,
and this thrum
in my chest,
it’s here,
it’s alive,
and it’s about you,
it needs stifling,
or soothing,
and I’m not sure which,
but I am angry and confused,
and no one knows about you.

So I stop writing and smoke,
I stare into my fish tank,
and okay, yes,
I confess,
I do,
that my anxieties
are ridiculous, a little,
and laughable, often,
sometimes gaudy,
out of tune,
a color more fit for diaries,
for coming-out stories,
for the overdrawn cliché:
I want you to know that I know this,
and that I’m writing the poem anyway.

One guppy courts the other,
then gets distracted by food.
I write a line,
but get distracted, too

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