The fish have formed their protectorate –
not a school, but a nation.
From tangential tetras to alpha betas,
and the tank, bulwark and border, has protected it.

Fresh water also seeps through carafes at times,
down the parched throat of some
watered-down and pickled bar-fly, buzzing
with rumors a few weeks out of date and time.

Time to go! The bell chimes two PM,
and through it a schoolboy,
his head packed sardine-tight
with ordered things, watches the world explode.

The bells have chimed before, though –
two PM over many years.
Beneath me, the miniature metronome spins
in its engraving, a time windmill from Switzerland.

All these things the schoolboy's bar-fly dad,
wound watch-tight with drink,
sees only through his right eye, since
the other is only a perfect sphere of glass.