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Bottom Feeder

Neglect only partially defines the inclination of an emotional masochist, almost as if the fish accused of being a bottom feeder cannot deny the claim.

Artwork by Giuseppe Giusti


Soulmates aren’t supposed to compile petty grievances, as you wouldn’t expect a fish to consume a container of shrimp pellets in one gulp.


If he was meant to be yours, you wouldn’t have to dilute yourself whereas a fish shouldn’t have to tremble at the fear of its algae-infiltrated bowl not being scrubbed.

(heaven forbid, the bowl is just dandy

until it becomes suffocating.)


Entrapment is not supposed to feel proper in the company of invasive nuisances, no worse than a rare aquatic sighting of parasitic wasps;

while that pet of yours should not dwindle into a coarse,

sun-dried piece of parchment when its tank water runs low.


Neglect only partially defines the inclination of an emotional masochist, almost as if the fish accused of being a bottom feeder cannot deny the claim;

as credence contains the centrist scheme of morality

when it isn’t on the verge of spiteful themes.


Either that or I should pour myself a salted glass, I’ll build the tolerance to take a sip of tears. No refills for me while I still acclimate to its bitterness, straight from the tap of filtered freshwater.

(humans may have more than a sixth sense,

perhaps a seventh which whispers to them,

to let it be known that the glass shattered onto a scalding slab.)


Maybe it’s the rebound of a fallen fishbowl, but I know of no fish that could levitate centimeters above the floor;

certainly not long enough to pulsate against the breach,

and an asphyxiated fish is no better than hooks, so don’t let it drown.


A fish will only give into speciation with the instinct to breed intermittently with its amphibian cohabiters, we suppose it to be biology except science sometimes overlooks the full story.


Bottom feeders should be forbidden from sinking below your skin, instead of being placed superior to everything else on a virtual shelf…

(above all else.)




 

Nicole Verbitsky is a 20 year-old writer from Northeast PA. A writer of bittersweet poems and the seldom short story, she also serves as a poetry editor for The Lunar Journal. At this time, her work appears in Neverland Lit and upcoming in voidspace zine. Her hobbies include overanalyzing media and reading with music in the background.



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