Cynthia Conte, Tusculum University

Shake a fishbowl and the fish stays near the center. Water waves, but the fish floats around, not hitting the sides. It’s such bad weather out there, why did I go out? Passenger seat, windshield, sheet of water, blur. Squeaking sound of a hand dragging across the hood of a car. Umbrella and mail blow across ice. Goldfish can live in very cold water. Eyes turned to the sky, unblinking. Wake up. Stumble, stumble, fall, voices muffled, under water. Goldfish cannot close their eyes. Mouth slack, she doesn’t see you. Goldfish cannot close their eyes. Pick her up off the ground. Sweaty palms, dizzy, constriction. Why did I why did I why did I… go out there? Shake a brain hard enough and it won’t be the same for awhile.  Don’t let her fall asleep.

Cynthia Conte is a senior in the creative writing program at Tusculum University specializing in nonfiction. She has served on the staff of the Tusculum Review for two years in the roles of Database and Nonfiction Layout. She received the Curtis Owens Award for nonfiction and was published in Really System. She is currently working on a collection of essays for senior seminar.