Poetry

Fish Sauce

NICHOLAS CASSLEMAN

NICHOLAS CASSLEMAN

Going to see my mother
in her senior citizen building

is like a voyage
without any luggage

I only have time to shower
and collect the crackers and sardines
she donates

But with pride she tells me
Of the birthday cakes she sells
And how the women in the building
Stand over them and pray

She buys her Lotto tickets
With the money she earns

I tell her how my fingers
always stink of fish

and she whispers

a real man likes the
smell of fish on his fingers

and I yell back
only if he’s grasping a mermaid

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