by Jackson Arn
They marched us to a room with yellow walls
and tables painted pink, like our uniforms
so we could sit and disappear. We wandered
by tiles and corners, carrying the stink
of desperation. A chair caught me,
because it thought I needed something old
to steady me, and it had the canniness
to offer me a book I used to read
before I got lost. Everything had changed
except the picture on page four, a trout
about to feed a mad king in a bath.
We’d stayed the same size: fish soon to be food,
globe-eyed babyish unthinking gusto,
and me, reading myself back to the flood.