from SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS: A Traveler's Tale

I drink in the hush of colors – not the colors themselves so much as how they blend, bleed, shade and grain together on a single fish.

“Why bother making all this erotic, ridiculous beauty?” I asked God.

A lionfish appeared, a tough-looking motherfucker with a poisonous spine and brown stripes and 24 fins in all directions, each as flittery and light as skin on cooked milk.

I discovered an eel, your standard sick green moray. It slithered from behind a rock, beady eyed and needle teethed, opening and closing its jaws in slow, cruel rhythm, its neck wrinkling and puffing like a rotten apple.


I stooped down and I imitated the eel, who looked like he was putting on a performance, his ugliness so frivolous and radiant and bombastic I couldn’t stand it.