He hung there,
floating in the murky water
thinking fishy thoughts.
Kevin the Fucked-Up Goldfish.
His tank sat on top of the fridge
filled with cigarette butts,
beer bottle tops,
a little red Lego man,
gravel from the backyard
and some water.
His scales had lost their colour,
taking him from sunset
(A particularly grubby moonrise).
His fins had gone, too.
So he just hung there
in the bong-water of his home
being Kevin the Fucked-Up Goldfish.
We decided it was time to clean up Kevin’s act
so we filled an old icecream container with water
and put him in.
We scrubbed the tank,
took out all the rubbish
and put in clean gravel and water.
His home clean, we put him back inside
and sat him on the fridge.
He died the next day.
Bonus extra unasked-for authorial statement:
Kevin made his debut in From My Head in late 1995, and was reprised in Not Quite the Man for the Job in 1998. I got a really sweet note from a young girl once, all bright green texta and chirpy round handwriting, about how much she liked this poem and how she made her friends read it when they needed cheering up. I can’t tell you how tickled I get whenever I read the combination of primary school visuals and swear jar language. Brings a tear to my eye, it does.