The Lungfish’s Refusal, Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco

Lucas Smith


Three mischievous logs lie on the gravel

in the dreary middle of a showcase

on shocking ways of aquatic survival.

Valisneria waves to the burnt face man


and he says, take a breath fuckwits,

I want to see you breathe, he says

And as if to the sound of trumpets

One lazy log rises above the rest


to middle water. A kid pounds the glass

then moves on, the albino crocodile’s

next door, eating lamb, the man is steadfast

take a breath dammit, go on.


The missing blue-eyed link investigates

each corner and settles ignorantly down

with its antique grinning blue-eyed mates.


Lucas Smith is a PhD candidate at the National Centre for Australian Studies. His writing has appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, The Lifted Brow, Australian Book Review, Cordite, Gargouille, Santa Clara Review and several others.

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