Fish Sauce

By Jules Phan


The fish are dying.

Clusters of protruding bellies

glistening in the harsh sunlight;

pale stripes tessellating the cold coastline

like tuna packed in a well-expired can –

oozing with rottenness.


The fish are still dying.

The fishermen know;

the conmen know;

the government knows;  

yet after detailed research

from the country’s most elite,

“Nothing was found to have

poisoned the fish.”


The fish continue to die;

it was reported


mere apologies and empty promises

were brought forward by the company at fault;

no further reports were made.


The fish are left to die;

their tears

reflected in every Vietnamese’s

fish sauce.


Check Also

For him in the past and the future

Poems about preconceived realities, those that haunt my thoughts through my eyes centre and my hearts focus.