Fish sleeps in front of my bed in a cage. I try not to sleep much. When I do, I have a strict rule about getting up at 4 a.m. He is always watching me.

Occasionally, Fish will reach between the bars and squeeze my toes. He will twist until I think one of us will snap.

After breakfast, I let him pace naked in the kitchen. He likes to read the backs of cereal boxes. He sounds out the big words.

I let him get a cat. I am here with Fish and his cat. We are in the closet. I am brushing my teeth. I receive art shipments. Canvases.

I could also put my hand through his statue. I tell Fish we need to go for a ride.

The bus ride will be long. I tell Fish this. He smiles. He is so shallow sometimes.

I take him to my friend’s box. It smells like homemade paper. I drag the vinyl chair across the hospital tile.

Fish begins a conversation with ticks clicks and clips. His head is back-lit by soft red light. He deserves more than a cage.

The bus ride home is shorter. We take a short-cut. He hangs his head out the window. He opens his mouth for bugs.

At home, I let him have water. But not too much. He cannot pee until 4 a.m.

My mother likes Fish. They have a lot to talk about. Most of it is about banquets and lawn-care. Fish knows about lawns. She thanks him for shrub tips.

Fish is allowed one treat before lights out. He usually chooses some more cereal.

There are fleas this time of year. If I see a flea, I warn, it’s outside for you. I bet he’s allergic to insecticides.












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