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(Table Setting 5/10/12: photo by micah sittig




If you want to be a nine hundred year

old fish, then stay at the back of the tank,

our guide quipped.  A proverb?  But I heard fear

from a not too distant past, when some sank

without trace.  Huge frogs with bulbous eyes

hunkered behind smaller fry: plump Buddhas,

withdrawing from contact, like all the wise-

too intellectual for consumption. As

we eschewed the coiled snakes and frilled reptile,

we saw longevity and survival

was to become what others revile:

thus to outlive an attractive rival.