Or Was it Not a Koi – Sarah Bartlett

Slow pearl body
A gleam under water
Even the dog pauses
To consider that
You are alive
Now you are alive
Moving in slow circles
Around the pond
And we are alive watching
You in your ignorant beauty
Exist so hard
The trees bend down
And elsewhere the ocean
Pulls itself toward your
Glow in the park’s sink
Where sickness is nowhere near
Your milky scales
That gather light into some
Kind of celestial afterthought
And elsewhere the pandemic
Blooms and rearranges
Our faces into ghost faces
And like ghosts we float
Like you we rise up through
The night’s surface and disappear
Into new constellations


Sarah Bartlett lives in Seattle, WA. Her recent chapbook, Columbarium, was released in 2019 by dancing girl press. Her poetry collection, Sometimes We Walk With Our Nails Is Out, was released in 2016 by Subito Press. She is the author of two chapbooks, My Only Living Relative, published by Phantom Books in 2015, and Freud Blah Blah Blah, published by Rye House Press in 2014. She is also co-author of two collaborative chapbooks. Recent work has appeared in Eratio, PEN American Poetry Series, Poetry Daily, Lit, Boog City, Alice Blue, and elsewhere.

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