My thoughts swim brusquely in a barrel
Each with an urgency to be heard
Each one leaping in the air for recognition
Each one making quite a splash
Each one starved for praise

They want to be addressed:
“Oh my precious,
oh my beauty
oh my lovely
oh my brilliance
oh my magnificent
oh my esteemed archetype
oh my GOD!”

I proclaim, “I will take care of you forever!”

They are all terrific
But then again
I can’t see all of them
And I sense there are some (thoughts)
at the bottom of the barrel
that are not revealing themselves

They don’t seem to want recognition
They don’t care to be clever
They don’t swim with the other thoughts…
They lurk

I want to ignore them but I can’t…
Staring deep into the barrel past my lovely thoughts
I am disgusted by a big black corpulent one
With whiskers, incisors and death in its eyes
Suddenly, it opens it jaws and
Eats a nearby lovely thought!

Shocked, I watch him devour
Another thought, another and another…

I soon recognize that if I don’t do something
All my lovely brilliant thoughts will die

I grab a gun so I can shoot this fucker
at the bottom of the barrel;
a thought I can’t see
a thought that is killing me

I aim, I shoot, round after round
Until there is blood in the water
And my beautiful silver thoughts are turning black
Sick with fear they begin to disappear
Others leap out of the barrel
And lay gasping on the ground

I try to put them back in the barrel
But the water is toxic and they jump back out
Flopping helplessly on the ground

I get a hold of my favorite thought
And hold it near the surface
Trying to keep it alive
Keeping it away from what lurks below
But it gasps and lays on its side

Pulling her out if the water I run to the kitchen
And scoop the withering precious
into a plastic bag and fill it with tap water

I rush to the car and drive to the river
At the water’s edge the tires squeal to a halt on the gravel
I jump out of the car and
slip-fall on the stones…
while holding the delicate bag in the air…
scraping elbows and knees…
trying to prevent further damage to my fading brilliance…

I rush down to the bank and jump into the water
And rip open the bag to let her out
Where we just float together in the water…
Finally, her gills begin to work with less effort
A silver sheen comes back to her scales
Her eyes recognize me for a moment
Casually, she turns and quietly swims away