On Watching a Video of Sea Creatures Swimming through Trash



It’s the stingrays that get me—in the aquarium’s

touch-and-feel tank, how they look like improbable

birds or gentle dinosaurs. Their backs velvet-stained

rubber, toned muscle relaxed under a lover’s grip.

 

Imagine: a kitten riding one like a horse

or snuggled under the flap as if it were a blanket.

 

My personal longings are one thing—how I always

wished to live by the sea but never did.

 

We all buy things we don’t need, reads the caption,

folding us together in a cool sheet of shrink-wrap.

 

Spare earbuds protected in three layers of packaging

discarded on the car floor. Boxed rice. Individual

yogurt cups and seltzer cans. Extra plastic

grocery bags for tossing soiled cat litter.  

 

Seagulls pick at old food on top of landfill heaps.

Their beaks pull up long strings of wire.

 

A tree in my backyard grows around a tire, giving

the illusion the earth will heal over our nonsense—

oceans so wide—just look at the tide come in.


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Lizzy Fox is a poet and educator with an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she now works as Associate Director for the MFA in Writing & Publishing. Lizzy is a recipient of the Laura J. Spooner Prize and the Corrine Eastman Davis Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of Vermont. Her poems have appeared in journals, anthologies, and art displays.