When the floral bouquets are passed from a beautiful woman

and the ribbon is cut, one aquarium opens and another is drained.

Staring into the white kitchen cabinets of the world, I see fossils.

In the fish market the freezers all look the same.

Behold the workbench with the plastic octopus pinned to the wall

and remember standing in line to say hi to my father

before sitting down with a cigarette

to analyze the trajectory of a rocket’s path.

The days of children’s socks, shaking hands with pilots

and inspecting the trunks of trees with laughter are over.

The binoculars have passed to my left hand

and several men wearing hats stand round

taking notes, like a cloud that appears overhead

with the face of a bear, I don’t ask anyone’s name

when no one is screaming.