plain china: best undergraduate writing

Volume One : Issue Two

Anna and the Slick Fish


by Laura Theobald

Surface by Mary Kincannon Surface by Mary KinCannon

For Anne Sexton

Anna, inside
there is a rampant fish.
It sounds silly until it moves
down into your belly
or up towards your gullet.

Anna, I wonder:
what if our soles scratched
along the same street or our hands
grabbed hold of the same mailbox lever?
What if I stopped waking up?

You and me, Anna,
we’re home at last. We look
into the mirror, we look like ghosts,
and you see it, I see it: that old fish
flopping around in there.

We’re not well.
We’re having difficulties
pinpointing the gaps between us,
distinguishing slick floppy fish
from a thumping in the chest.

Anna, my eyes
are your soup spoons,
now black widows, now nothing
at all, now wishing wells, and here
a pocket full of change. What luck.

About the Author


Laura Theobald

University of Tampa

Laura Theobald, a Florida native, is pursuing a writing and English degree from and working for The University of Tampa. In addition to Quilt, UT’s student-run literary journal, her poetry has appeared in The Secret of Salt: An Indigenous Journal.