If it is true that fish can only hold
three seconds of memories
then my distorted face
must have become a familiar institution
hovering complicit, while entitled onlookers
tapped tank, demanded a snow-globe
display of fin and scale.
When a Cod tested glass and was denied
I knew I was witnessing the exact moment
a creature realized it was trapped
and began to panic. On the way home
the number nine bus waded through flooded
streets. People loaded in, skin
to skin to wet shrouds of rain gear. Rain
pooling where sealing has failed, tears
streaming down metal
a buckling submarine. I thought;
a three second memory could be merciful
because I remember
Teal paint peeling inside our closet
where you’d thrown me onto a heap
of dirty clothes.
Stunned as a bird post window impact
I blinked, breathed.
In the eye of our cyclone
of threats and accusations
I saw clearly
How to Vote
While fighting to close your broken umbrella, let it shake fat droplets of water
onto the floor of the gymnasium like a wet dog.
Present your identity to a man seated at a fold out table set
with stacks of bureaucratic papers; the last known address
of a country. The man will retrieve your name
from this alphabetized tome, he won’t ask
if you based your vote on the wisdom
inside the three fortune cookies
you had with lunch;
Land is always on the mind of a flying bird
If your desires are not extravagant they will be granted.
Never give up, you are not a failure if you don’t give up
You will fold the ballot like a receipt from the dollar store
which you absent mindlessly crease before tossing away.
Once you have voted, exit the high school.
Post a selfie in front of the polling station sign
so that no one can chastise your lack of faith
that marking an X has given you a voice.
Above the crimson maples celebrating
your walk home, observe a flock of migrating geese.
Notice the one falling behind, distracted
by the persistent worry that she will always feel like a failure.
Cid V Brunet is a creative writing student at Douglas College. Her work has recently appeared on Strange Horizons, and Peculiar Mormyrid and in Rhapsody an anthology of Guelph writing 2015. She splits her time between Vancouver, BC and Kitchener, ON.