We are at the aquarium when she tells me
that the last time she threw up, shoulders hunched over
the porcelain toilet bowl, strands of blonde hair
grazing the seat, her index finger probing her throat,
she threw up tuna fish.
I wanted to stop, and I knew I’d never
Again make myself vomit
Once I’d thrown up tuna fish.
I imagine the miniature tuna swimming
up my throat, trying to force there way out.
Then the salmon I saw on a hike in sixth grade
that died trying to go home.
That salmon stopped eating,
put everything it had
into swimming upstream,
its mouth turning into
a beak. It slowly
but thought about
nothing but the task at hand.
The pressure of the vomit coming up
her throat like that salmon, swimming
against the current. And the smell:
like a dead fish lying on the sand under a hot sun,
frozen in a last gasp, ribs beginning to show through scales.
Blended with the slimy green algae that floats onthe surface of the pool you haven’t used in years