Poetry 2017 Shortlist, Midhun Noble

Goldfishes
Midhun Noble

I once gifted her a
pair of goldfishes,
red and orange in
colour and their tails
moving like mermaids.
I gifted her goldfishes
as flowers will die
and the chocolates
will melt in her mouth,
I wanted to gift her
something like me
drowning yet beautiful.
I would occasionally
Go to her house
feed those goldfishes
and watch them swim
together in that glass bowl.
I remember once while
changing the water
One jumped out of
my hand and was fluttering
for his life and she put him
back into the bowl
blaming my butter fingers
for letting him go.
When we let each other go
as she didn’t want us to be
stuck in the glass bowl forever.
I choked a bit, fluttered a few times
and pushed me into drains
and drowned me in bottles.
she returned me back everything
which was once a gift,
except for the fishes.
I dont know if they are still alive,
She might have broken the bowl
watched the fishes choke
Until their eyes turn pale,
and would claim she set them free
for all that I know her to be.
Or they must have been thrown
down the drains and she replaced
the bowl like her heart with
colorful pebbles and jelly balls.
Her hands would still smell
like a fish the one who
fluttered for life in her hand.

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