Poetry-Tamara Miles

Tamara Miles

Love Song of the Stingray

(borrowing from Alice Walker the phrase Temple of My Familiar)


I dwell in an aquarium, quite comfortable,

cushioned sounds of the temple of my familiar,

cared for, not unhappy.


I go my cycled path around the tank,

have almost forgotten the waters

of my ancestors.


You come to visit, stand at the glass

to admire a mysterious creature,

spend a lunch hour here, study me,

sketch, admire my supple movements,

my curious aspects,

at a safe distance.


I delight in your attention.

I wish you into the water to play,

but it is far too dangerous.


You might meet, in these waters,

the hour of your destruction, a drowning,

a stab through the heart.


Two creatures, then, on each side

of the wall, appointed to live separately,

appointed to meet and meet again,

and never to touch,


but I have need of you and you of me.


I will look for you in the crowd

with your camera-lens eyes, pen

and patient curiosity, a god to one

like me, forbidden.


I pray you go mad and break the glass.