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

that

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.

 

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