Daryl Jones

Feeding the “Doctor Fish”
by Daryl Jones

You do not have to drown for this.

You do not have to be a Shanghai tycoon
dangling your pale feet in a celadon pool
outside a teahouse, plum blossoms opening everywhere
like the delicate O’s of a thousand tiny kisses.

You do not have to be a Turk, psoriatic, scabrous,
soaking your pallid legs in the sulfurous water
of a Kangal hot spring. The needles, the numbness.

You can be a common tourist, leg-weary, lost
in the streets of Santorini, your sandaled feet
callused and powdered with the white dust
of the Akrotiri ruins, a blister on your heel.
Ignoring the stony faces, fear of disease,
you surrender your euros and immerse your burning feet
in a tank of tepid water. The nibbling, the strangeness

of this world. How some will try anything
for pleasure or an end to pain.
How some will swallow anything to survive.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 1.

Daryl JonesDaryl Jones lives in Boise, Idaho. His poems have appeared in Black Warrior Review, The Idaho Review, The Sewanee Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. His book Someone Going Home Late received the Natalie Ornish Poetry Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. He is a former Idaho Writer-in-Residence and a past recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship.

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