Carina Solis

grief fish

in the bronx, father tells me, it is ritual / to break open a beer bottle by its neck / and pour out its secrets on the sidewalk / an offering, he laughs,  for the / brothers who could not be here. / our dinners are / usually silent, filled with the soft hum of / unspoken prayers. / but tonight, father cracks open, spilling himself / onto my hands / words that promise to stick. / i had only heard some people could / drink like a fish / never seen it happen before / it was the night / grandmother called / for the first time in years / to tell father that grandfather had lost himself to grief / and decided to become a snapper / burst into the caribbean sea and / never looked back. father became a / goldfish for a time / wide-eyed and hazy / though nothing more than that, he couldn’t stand / being too free. / at breakfast the next morning, father was quiet again, / his moon-slicked body hardened into silence / mourning—perhaps he wanted to be a / red snapper too. / to swim in silver waters / no blood left to surrender.

Carina Solis is a fifteen-year-old writer living in Georgia. Her work is published or forthcoming in the Eunoia Review, Wrongdoing Mag, Gone Lawn, CLOVES, and elsewhere. Find her at or on Twitter @CarinaS74562803.

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