By Leigh Vandebogart
when i was twelve, my best friend was
pool-faced with thick long black hair,
swinging arms and legs and a giggle
her house was my house
you know, that kind of best friend -
but we were not the reflection
of each other.
please, don’t think that.
the following year she would move
to another town not so far away, but very far
when you’re thirteen and your mom is
“busy i am too busy to drive out there leigh.”
but i did not know that she would move then,
and neither did she, and eventually
i forgot what she looked like,
because your memory is not very good at that age,
it’s a fact.
but this is not the point, who cares
if my best friend moved away and then i got
another best friend, like a minor leaguer,
called up as a back up. this is about
her room, on the 2nd floor of her house,
with a loft bed and a desk underneath,
which i thought was just the coolest thing ever.
on this desk, under her bed, in a space
dark as a little cave, was a fish bowl -
or maybe it was square, maybe it was a fish tank -
but the significance of this is not
the shape of the glass,
but the fish
the fish inside, in its water, its home
the small square glass case
in the small dark square cave on the 2nd floor
of my best friend’s house.
the fish inside, in my hand.
one afternoon i reached in,
grabbed its tiny golfish body
and pulled it out, watched it flip
smart and shiny and orange in my palm.
i watched its gills, its head, its yes,
it’s weird fish, and
its tail, this small spot of orange
in my little hand,
i stared down at him and he stared back.
i don’t remember the fish’s name
but i do remember hers,
and a year later