The Fish by David Shumate from THE FLOATING BRIDGE
My wife draws a picture of a fish to remind me to go to
the market and leaves it by the bed. It is a healthy fish.
One you might find in an encyclopedia to represent its
species. A trout, perhaps. It is smiling. As if the world
were pleasantly disposed to its kind. As if it has just
spoken with a deity and knows that things are going
to work out fine. Soon it will come upon a greater sea.
Insects will sacrifice themselves to its cause. Other
beasts will strive to be like it. This morning it has
discovered, hidden somewhere near its heart, the soul
it always suspected it had. It has visited there twice
already. It is like swimming in the air. A thousand rivers
to choose from. An eternity of waters. It is quite
a remarkable fish.