When they kick in

your instincts may lead you
to the ocean’s floor or
the banks of a sandy beach,

whether you’re a fish
or human, or some species
in between. You may be called
to where oxygen is scarce.

These instincts are embedded
in your compass, deep down
in your mitochondria’s

That’s life, the condition
of the carbon base. On Earth,
we’re meant to die and to weep
for the dead, to save all the fish

that can be saved by talking
some sense into them, by being
fishers of men and casting a net
to catch the sinkers, the floaters,
the lemmings, the hangers.

About the Poem

About the time when information was coming to light about the lives lost on the Titan submersible, I came across this story about the thousands of fish that washed up to their death on the beach in Thailand. I found the irony poetic that humans were dying underwater while fish were dying on land.

About the Author

Ed Wade is an American expatriate who has lived in Hanoi since 2012. There, he lectures for RMIT University in the Professional Communication department.

His work can be found in various publications online and in print, such as Rattle, The Comstock Review, and Puro Chicanx Poets of the 21st Century. His first book of poetry The Mise en Abyme Jokebook was published by Uncollected Press in 2019.

Ed is currently earning his MFA in Creative Writing at University of Texas at El Paso.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *