Fishbowl Living | Jessica Hincapie

1 min read

What separates us from our lives
is a see-through thing.
Jellyfish membrane, fragrant flower sealed
in wax, its smell kept secret. 

Always the plastic
shower curtain with a lover
naked on the other side. 

The children play with their
kaleidoscopes, tearing hair out
at having magic in their line of sight,
and yet always out of grasp. 

Things that seem
close, but are really only
afterthoughts. The way déjà vu
is the worst type of familiar. 

There are holes in the soft ground
where the mudskippers
find new exits. 

There are days we do not question
our friends’ motives when they talk
about their depression. 

The night shares with us
its necessary illusions, so
we share with it ours in return. 

The rookery of glass pigeons,
the portmanteaus of skinned light. 

Is there a better way? Will we learn
it in time? Which
was the first painting
of a painting? Can a soul be like that?

Jessica Hincapie is a poet living in Austin Texas. She is program director of the Writing Barn (a workshop and retreat space in South Austin). She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Texas. You can find her work online and in print in various publications including Narrative Magazine, Four Way Review, Gulf Coast Journal, Radar Poetry and more. You can find out more about her on her website: