The watertop is a glass
of shining obsidian;
Koi swim beneath.
I have named them.
Two, black and orange,
I call the twins.
James and John the sons
of Zebedee.
Then is Coins. He is
gold, doubloon scaled,
shape shining wealth.
Rudy Two--has a red nose.
Shadowed near the bottom,
Blackie, pure darkness,
he is a shark. The last
is white; whiteness
can't be named. There are
smaller fantails, shibunken,
platitudes. I had to
net one misshapen one.
It died quickly in the wind.
The rest play and eat, dimpling
the water; I am their god
when I feed them. They
gather at my feet, leap up,
except those out of sight
deep in the water, nightmares
I sense but can't see.


I am his white Koi.
I am his most active. I
race in water, one pond
end to the other. I am
the only one who leaps,
clearing the delicious
comfort of home. I twist,
gather power, knowing
I will see wind oceans
where everything is nothing
filled with towering shadow
gods. I believe in
the wind because I've
felt it. I know wind
I feel it. I scale slopes
of water before the
What I leap into. God's
language is silence.

Steven Fortney

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