In The End


Oleh Lysiak


I’d get into the bathtub when the water wasn’t very hot,

just warm enough to feel, then sink and let only hot run

from the spigot until the water became scalding, a gradual

process which turned my body redder as the water

got hotter. I slid along the porcelain until my nose

was barely above the water and finger-tipped the floor

taking hold of the book I was to read. I read and slowly

slipped to sleep. I drowned in the hot water

when my head went under and, with the pulling of the plug,

was washed down with the water waste through plumbing

sucked into the sewer. I was a sewer fish below while you

walked on the streets above though I couldn’t discern

much difference in our respective situations. I traveled

through the sewers and eventually spilled out of the concrete

sewer spillway in to a river which in turn spilled into the ocean

which swallows everybody’s waste. I grew on the waste

and became a greater fish in a greater pond, made

spawning runs each fall returning to my place of origin

to originate progeny who would eventually return

to their place of origin to originate more progeny

who would do the same in turn thinking originally.

Eventually I was snared by a trawler and, after being

yanked out of the ocean I was filleted, smoked, cooked,

canned, eaten and in turn discarded into the same

goddamned sewer. I thought this place looked mighty familiar,

what being with my friends and all, I felt right at home except

I wondered what happened to the tub, who pulled the plug and

how the book turned out in the end.