Two Carp in a Bowl
All day they hold their tongues
but when the last guest leaves
and the lights go off in their room
they let fly once more.
I saw you looking at that Kali goddess today,
ogling all those arms and legs, she says.
Quit your fishing and get off my scales,
he fires back. So what if I looked at her?
When was the last time you touched me?
Suck grass, you bastard. She seethes.
You always act like it’s my fault
I’m affixed to this side of our bowl.
I want to go home, she says, and starts to cry.
He hates it when she does this,
so he yells: You think I wanted to leave?
I was happier in the mud under the river!
This isn’t all about you! she screams.
And he rolls the one eye he has.
And she glares back with hers.
On and on they go in the frozen
suggestion of circling one another,
the green gulf between them never closing.
When the docent comes again,
turns on the light, they begin another day
under the reflecting glass and gaze
of happy people shuffling past
their case with its little sign:
Celadon bowl, 12th century, China,
With double-fish motif in unglazed relief,
a symbol of marital harmony.
Michael Dechane is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University’s MFA program and a former carpenter, videographer, and speechwriter. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Image, Southern Poetry Review, Cumberland River Review, and Saint Katherine Review. A native of Odessa, Florida, he currently lives in Zürich, Switzerland.
The Ekphrastic Review
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