Our solitary goldfish is mouthing
something I can’t quite discern
despite my close attention.

Time slogs on. I get back to weighing parallels
between you finishing that bagel of yours
and my finishing this poem.

To be clear, I don’t mean
to suggest “Finnishing this poem.”
Why bring Helsinki into this?

No, I am talking about the ease
with which your alabaster dentures
slice into that soft breadiness—

not to mention that toasted crust,
or that warm butter drenching your lower lip,
or that smooth tartness of your cream cheese—

all metaphors, I’m sure,
in some literary world for greater abstractions
indiscernible on a vapid morning.

Perhaps if I could imagine
a goldfish language, passed down by dolphins,
it would help ignite this lifeless poem,

but, in the end, where would it lead?

Odes to food falling like snowflakes,
nasty limericks about feckless felines,
and elegies for friends afloat upside down.