If I Lived–Brenda Miller

If I lived in France today, a child would slap a fish on my back. The Poisson d’Avril. April Fish. The mark of the fool.

If I lived in Switzerland, spaghetti would grow from the trees. The harvest might be especially abundant this year.

If I lived in the Indian Ocean, I could bike around the island of San Seriffe. I could live on a semi-colon. A perpetual pause.

If I lived in the rain forest, penguins would fall from the sky, stinking of Antarctica.

If I lived in Denmark, all dogs would be painted white.

If I turn off my computer today, the Internet will close for cleansing. Flotsam and jetsam of useless information purged.

If I go on a fool’s errand….

If I try to pick up a dime glued to the ground…

If I fall for it.

I always fall for it.

I eyed doorways, watched for the tricks, a dreaded day—this child already foolish, so gullible, and the hot shame that rises when you’ve been had.

Had. As if the trickster now owns you: they got you, got you good.

I tried to be good all the time, everywhere: at home, at school, at the grocery store. A constant vigilance that made my head ache. Trying so hard not to be the fool.

I always get the Fool card in the Tarot. The fool lost in his daydreams as he stumbles off a cliff. The dog, white, prancing by his side.

I’m a Pisces. Pisces are fish. Pisceans are often fools.

April Fish are invited to bogus parties. They come to the door with wine in hand. So eager.

They are sent on fool’s errands. The trick is successful only when the fish knows she’s been had.

Is all life a fool’s errand? Is it? If so, go ahead and laugh. Let the joke be on us.

On us. The fish swinging from the back of the fool. Wiggling in dry air. The Kick Me sign.

The fish of April wakes up from winter to the outlandish story of spring: yes, the perennials hunker underground and burst forth at some signal, as do the buds in the weeping cherry tree. Yeah, sure. Got it.

If I lived in Burger King, I could get a left-handed Whopper.

If I had a spaghetti tree, I would never go hungry.

The first spaghetti of spring. Tender and delicious. Next year the meatball shrub should bear fruit.

The fish of April always gets caught. Stuck in an eddy. Fooled by the current into believing her way upstream.








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