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Fishtown, submerged in bubbles
and murder, subsumes a sinking school
of the urban poor. Here we touch the decaying
mural of Freddy Adams, chip our teeth,

hog the ball. In the depths
of our aphotic streets, fierce cusps
of coral rip at our clothes, our tender
forearms, soft ankles.

Our teacher, twice removed, has learned
to point her trident accusingly
from across the yard, to inflate her sides
at the first swirl of danger, to dive beneath the isle.

Daily we get scratched, loose our balance, skip in line.
Daily we are drenched in a violent surge of murder.

As we glide, we drop our gleaming scales,
feeling the mute throb of the ocean
that drowns us, and make despondent bubbles
that float quietly towards the sky.

Aakash Suchak studies English Literature and Art History at Swarthmore. He loves poetry and spending his Sunday mornings looking at reproductions of the Sistine Ceiling in black and white.