What To Do About the Fish Tank

These are the mundane questions
and issues I tend to send your way
by phone message,
and hours or even days pass
before they are answered,
if they are answered at all.

These are not questions about “us”
or “you” or “me” or any topics
along a similar vein which neither of us
seem to have the heart to tap.

As though the illusion of integrity
in a burning house is retained,
so long as you don’t open
any doors or windows,
so long as you pretend
you don’t see the wisps of smoke
curling through tiny holes
as the whole thing struggles
to breathe.

It’s a slow burning
of whatever was once there,
and by our silence we give it
as little life-giving oxygen
as possible, preferring
to deteriorate piece by piece,
a gradual demise.

Claire Juno, © 2013