The Lonely Pipefish

Up, up, slender
As an eel’s
Child, weaving
Through water, our lonely
Pipefish seeks out his dinner,

Scanty at best; he blinks
Cut-diamond eyes — snap — he
Grabs morsels so small
Only a lens pinpoints them,
But he ranges all over
That plastic preserve — dorsal
Fin tremulous — snap — and
Another gedilla
Of brine shrimp’s gone . . .
We talk on of poetry, of love,
Of grammar; he looks
At a living comma —
Snap — sizzling about
In his two-gallon Caribbean —
And grazes on umlauts for breakfast.
His pug-nosed, yellow
Mate, aproned in gloom
Fed rarely, slumped,
Went deadwhite, as we argued on;
That rudder-fin, round as a
Pizza-cutter, at the
End of his two-inch
Fluent stick-self, lets his eyes
Pilot his mouth — snap . . .
Does his kind remember? Can our kind forget?