Self-Portrait as Angler Fish – Cecily Cecil

You say maybe we can’t be friends because

you think I can’t express anger.

You have a degree in psychology.

Anger is important to you.

But Anger is a tsunami—

a greedy, gluttonous predator—

an indifferent drowner of you and


Anger is an insatiable carnivore,

but since you’re angling for anger, let

me imagine

what it would be like to be carnivorous for a day.

When your words bite, to plunge through the depths

on my bloated belly, to unhinge my gaping maw, to portend

perfect pearlescent protuberances,  

only for you to realize that I drew your bite

with the cruel intent to absorb everything you are.

Lured by dangling dorsal brilliance—

my pulsing luminescence nothing more than foul fleshy growth,

cultured bacteria in an esca.

What if that were my angle?

But if you become my symbiote,

isn’t empathy inevitable?

So then can’t we just skip over all the anger and be friends?

Cecily Cecil is a writer of fiction and poetry. She is a current MFA student in Lesley University’s fiction program. She previously received her MA in English from Kansas State University. She lives in Manhattan, Kansas, where she enjoys work at her local public library.

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