Artist Statement:

Caitlin Lore wears many hats, one of which she wished was labeled Sorting. Perhaps that would help with the whole “I’m never going to grow up” act. Or at least sort her into Neverland. As a second-time undergrad student, not having figured out her life just yet, English seems to be calling her once again. However, this time it is to teach.  Perhaps after all of the classrooms she has been in and all of the jobs she has had which inspire embarrassing memoirs that is why writing calls to her—she gets to be anything she imagines. Her poetry has previously been published in The Tonic and After Images of Indiana State University.

Cleaning the Tank

Caitlin Lore


I.
I moved out to the couch that night,
images on CNN keeping
me company. I wanted to know
he was close. His imprint still on
the 800 thread count Egyptian
Cotton. Around 3:10 am I felt
him slip the blanket on me and tuck
it under my elbow so I
wouldn’t get too hot.

 

When I woke up the house was
still empty and the fish tank
had clouded over.

 

II.
Sometimes, when I talk to him, he listens.
My little sunshine fish
who swims in the corners
of the tank. Especially the front
corner where he nudges his pointy
nose in the sand and bobbles on
the glass where he stops and stares.
Sometimes, when my voice is content,
he swims a length or two of the tank
right out front,
parading his approval.

 

III.
I once knew a little boy,
who in the midst of a crisis
—his big brother, the soldier, dying—
told me he knew where the golden butterfly fish are.

 

I asked him to show me.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790