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In the Lab

14 November 2012 2,265 views No Comment

by Van Tran

Author’s note: When I was upset in high school, I would go to one of my teachers’ labs to be alone. The one thing from that time that has left an indelible impression in my mind is the crawfish aquarium in the back of the room. At first, watching the crawfish weave in and out and listening to water flow was a calming experience. Unfortunately, by the end of my senior year, it had become a place of negative emotions for me. Nowhere is that more clearly articulated than in this poem I wrote, shortly after the event that changed my perspective entirely.

Plied pipelines feed the tank.
Bubbles bloat distilled water,
Gurgle in veins,
Boil aqueous humors to fever pitch.
Transplanted weaves of seaweed shuffle,
Fronds waving fingers.
Peek-a-boo play the crawfish
Like many nondescript babies
In a room staring back
At you.

A shied carcass shivers
And fills the gap of sand
Between gravity and levity,
Stillborn.
Imagine now ramming
A scalpel to the head
Slitting it open
Sucking all the mush
Inside smells pungent –
But pleasant.
Did you dissect a difference
Between babe and craw?

Peek-a-boo play the babies
Like many nondescript crawfish
In a room staring back
At you.
Translocated weeds of seaweave shuffle,
Fingers waving fronds

Boil snap-sanities to crispy cinders.
Gurgle in brains,
Bubbles bloat the stilled spirit.
Inquiry feeds the mind.

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