Fish Boy Hits the Teen Years by David Kopaska-Merkel

Most girls scream, a bit, when his gills flare,
They look away from his unblinking eyes,
Lonely, yes, but a good boy,
Mom never wants for brim, bass, catfish,
He always takes the garbage out,
And wonder of wonders,
Leslie, redhead from Poughkeepsie,
Likes the gills, and how they beat,
Stares into the deep blue pools that are his eyes.

So can a weird kid from Innsmouth
Catch a break in upstate NY?
He asks her to go swimming,
Full moon reservoir starlight blaze—
She’d love a midnight dip.
Oh yes, the stars are right tonight!

When not writing poetry, David Kopaska-Merkel studies the diverse part of the Earth called Alabama. Kopaska-Merkel has written myriads of poems, stories, and essays since the 70s. He won the Rhysling award (Science Fiction Poetry Association) for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He has written 23 books, of which the latest is Luminous Worlds, a collection of dark poetry from Dark Regions (

Previous                                                                                Issue Eleven                                                                                Next