Brenna Twohy – ‘The Fisherman Takes the Fish Home and Tells Her He Loves Her’

By Button Poetry

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Transcript provided by YouTube:

00:04

A magician talks about the record for holding one’s breath

00:07

as his assistant lowers herself into a tank of water.

00:11

And he calls it 22 minutes, but I promise you it’s longer.

00:17

I promise you it’s years.

00:22

This is how I remember it.

00:24

On our first date, he ran his fingertips across my skin

00:28

like he was reading my palm.

00:30

When I would fall asleep with my glasses on,

00:32

he slid them off and he cleaned them

00:35

and then placed them on my nightstand,

00:37

every single time.

00:40

Once, I took a sip of wine and I shrugged,

00:42

and I set the glass down on the counter and he poured it down the sink.

00:46

And then the entire bottle.

00:48

He said, “Life is too short for bad wine.”

00:52

He said, “You deserve better.”

00:58

I love doing magic tricks.

01:01

I love the way I know the lie from the beginning.

01:06

I love the way I can see the turn coming.

01:10

This is the hardest part.

01:13

That boy is not made of fists.

01:17

That boy learned how to braid my hair.

01:21

And these things do not untruth themselves when the first door slams.

01:26

And I did not stop loving him all the months I was holding my breath.

01:30

And this is the hardest part.

01:34

The way a fish is still a fish,

01:37

even after she’s been gutted,

01:40

even after her lip’s split clean in half

01:43

from the hook, and the hook, and the hook.

01:45

And do you think the fish blamed herself,

01:49

and her own stupid open mouth?

01:53

Do you think the fisherman apologized?

01:56

Said all he wanted was to hold her.

01:59

Said, “I have touched that hook for years, and it never once pierced me.

02:03

Darling, how could I have known?”

02:08

And do you think the fish forgave him?

02:12

Said, “I’m sorry, too.

02:14

I promise I will try harder to breathe outside the water.”

02:20

(applause)

This post was previously published on YouTube and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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Photo credit: Screenshot from video

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