You’d be surprised how many people
talk to goldfish.
He looked like a young David Bowie,
her kid Jimmy, when he came
and sat beside my bowl.
“You know I’m an addict,”
he told me.
He talked to me the whole time
he spread out his paraphernalia—
needle, cotton balls,
one of the Old Shoe’s best
silver-plate spoons. He tied
off his arm and flicked a vein
to pop it to the surface, added
a few drops from my bowl
to the white powder, pried
a lighter from the front key pocket
of his skinny jeans and snapped it open.
The flame leaped—the concoction fizzed.
Shooting up slowed the thread
of his narrative. I saw his eyes grow dim
and glaze over.
It felt safe to tell Jimmy it wasn’t my father
who jumped from the red bridge.
“Why so sad?” I asked.