Stalling, not wanting to stare, I stare
Into the ragged day-room’s aquarium,
Unesalle fantastique sous la
Un-updated since pin boys crouched on
Drifts of plastic coral like multi-colored
mud, fake rocks,
A tiny wreck and treasure chest, the yellow
In cast iron boots I take to be my
In uselessness. Wisps of something white
Have made a Q-Tip of his brandished
I’ve brought lemon drops, kind words, a
picture book of polar bears.
Long seconds pass.
Tap, Tap. Smudge a finger round the glass to
rouse the occupants.
Nothing. A vacant glance, and gone. The same,
As if I’d turned instead behind me and rapped
upon a wide forehead –
All those bright
Echoing rooms in which a dozen times an
A mouse will soon excrete a pellet
K. pops in her mouth one mid-century August
A green squawking stalk its perch above a
grand odd-shaped thing.