Editor’s Choice: 2020 Sandy Crimmins Poetry Contest

The zebrafish’s neon stripes
and globe eyes flash in LEDs
as our bodies marble in reply with squiggles
of phosphorus. Who can say
what spirit moves in us as it moves
eel-like on my mom’s blue hat, the one
with a crab on the front, brim hovering
like a cave mouth over her invisible face?
Who can say what god spoke to her
earlier at church while I was sleeping?
My brother extends an awkward hand to spook
some arowanas gliding too close to the glass,
and mom twitches as if she means
to stop him, then reconsiders, stills her hand
and rests it in the dark as if upon
a shoulder, as I wonder what the pastor said
today and if it would have moved
me still in spite of everything.