When I want people to hate me,
I tell them I hate dogs.
Their glowing canines, shiny
with drool, happy-go-lucky
pants, thin-lipped, bellies
curved and fat like the underside
of a boat. My goldfish spun
circles, vertigoed, flaunted
death again. Mom said to change
waters more frequently, but
our neighbor’s dog was fired
from that laughing house’s gun,
shot into our hallway, some
dane, some shepherd, some big
guy who wanted a six-year-old
between his teeth. To melt,
or to pull tendons like strings
of meat. Hiding under table, goldfish
giving me side-eye, goldfish
capsizing, one by one. All
five of those small yellow things,
puckering silent, dog retreating.
Claire S. Lee is a student from Southern California. Her writing has been recognized by Tinderbox Poetry Journal and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and can be found or is forthcoming in Alexandria Quarterly, Rising Phoenix Review, Blue Marble Review, and *82 Review, among others. She works as an editor for COUNTERCLOCK and as an editorial intern for The Blueshift Journal. Though she loves poetry and nonfiction, her favorite genre is historical fiction.