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.