CURIOSITY AND THE CATFISH
by Callie R. Tullos

Curiosity and the catifsh.
When procrastination sat atop my list
I found a video of piranhas devouring
The headless carcass of a dead fish.
As follows, the next suggested video was
Titled “WARNING LIVE FEEDING,”
586,337- er, now 8, people had watched
And through the boredom I couldn’t resist.
Video started. The pet piranhas were still.
The description read the catfish was
“Injured and going to die anyway.”
Though that didn’t seem to help.
I’d never given much thought
To the emotions of a fish,
But watching the steady hand
Slip its smooth, wet body
Calmly into the quiet water,
I knew I would shield
My screen if anyone came in.
It was about five seconds,
Before the piranhas began.
They, yellow tinted, practiced, methodical,
If they had hands then surely they would grope.
I felt (but didn’t) that I should look away, watching them undress the catfish from its skin.
The little brown catfish hovers, awkward, confused, a sham shelter behind a plastic tree.
Gracefully shielding its wounds towards the fake, tan rocks.
In a glass box, water’s see-through walls,
Mouth wide, blush tinted, picture perfect, faux pond.
The piranhas circled round, together now.
One tore away its stomach,
Like buttons on a shirt,
After unhooking its tail.
Sucking on its bones.
All that was left was a half-live head.
It twitched a minute, just mouth agape.
Then shut a final time. Still.
The man then stuck his hand into the water.
Held out, pink between brown skin,
A close-up for the masses.
On a black screen I read RIP,
And had chicken for supper.

 

 

 


 


Callie R. Tullos is a sophomore from Jackson, MS with hopes of graduating in the spring of 2018 with a BA in English. In her free time she enjoys talking to her dogs and pretending they can talk back. She loves to write but hates writing bios about herself. This is the first time she’s shared her writing.