A fishbowl of 20 inches of perimeter
And 5 inches of diameter
(16 ounces of cloudy water approximately),
To that comes down Alfonso’s
Universe (my daughter’s fish).
We feed him once a day.
He opens the mouth like fishes do,
Like a mime learning to bubble.
I look at him with pity,
with fake compassion
and I tell Gaby: “what a cute little fish”.
At night, when everybody is asleep,
I get up and go to the kitchen.
Alfonso remains insomniac,
He looks at me firmly
(Not just because he lacks eyelids).
He interrogates me with his huge eyes
As convex as the fishbowl that holds him.
He consoles me, grieves me
And keeps spinning around distracted
Just like me.
Arturo Gutiérrez Plaza (Caracas, 1962). This poem is part of Principios de contabilidad (Conaculta, 2000).