Goldfish says, I’m the color of light because my father is the sun. Goldfish says, if you look straight into me your eyes will burn. Goldfish wiggles next to my nipples and reads the braille of my goosebump diary. My boyhood aches in the cold, an eye open underwater. I pray my swim trunks have not wobbled away with the jellyfish. Goldfish says my soul reads like ripples on the surface. He rubs his scales off on my torso as pennies for the luck. Goldfish revolves around my head to imitate his father. I know the sun does not revolve, but I do not tell him. Bubbles float from my nose like dozens of blinking eyes. Goldfish nods like he understands what froths behind my uvula. If Goldfish could tell time, he could be mistaken for a pocket watch. His tail ticks back and forth like a clock. Goldfish says focus on his golden comet tail. Bruises float like fish on the ocean of my chest. He opens the cave of my mouth to kiss its small pink fish. I cough him out, spitting fishwater. This is normal, he tells me. I am learning how to swim.


Willy Palomo learned poetry from the worlds of hip-hop and slam poetry. In 2015, he received his BA in English and Creative Writing and an Honors degree from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, where he founded the college's first poetry slam team and served as Editor-in-Chief to ELLIPSIS...LITERATURE & ART. He has competed in poetry slam nationally as a member of Salt City Slam and Westminster Slam. His work has appeared or is forthcoming on Muzzle, Acentos Review, Button Poetry, and elsewhere. He is currently pursuing an MA in Latin American and Caribbean studies and an MFA in poetry at Indiana University.