The Doctor

The Doctor


When he returns I’m still

a fish: salmon-pink shiver


wrapped in grocer white,

examined, tender. If he notices


my gills he doesn’t tell me.

Says he’s sorry but I lack


the ability to birth. I know

I’m supposed to mourn


because he doesn’t laugh

when I say, it figures.


I’m half gay—on my mother’s side.

He doesn’t listen, or maybe


he can’t. Maybe he doesn’t

speak fish. He says


there are options for women

like me because unlike me


children without mothers

are plentiful. I tell him


the problem isn’t my body

but he doesn’t speak fish.


When he goes I peel away

the paper, look for a knife


to scrape away my scales.