Gone Goldfish

My mother went to a wedding once and left me with a babysitter. Late late at night she came home with two goldfish who had been the centerpiece at her table. What I remember is a rimmed bowl filled with rosy glass pebbles, the kind I’d later learn to play mancala with, big enough for the two orange fish to swim around each other like little twins. But when I woke up the next morning there was only one left, his rounded fishhook eyes blinking, his terrifyingly translucent body pulsing as if the whole thing were his heart. I convinced myself that there had only ever been one goldfish, that it was perfectly normal for two separate but similar beings to melt into each other and become one without either having died. That the border between two things could lose shape, sweat and ooze like a cheese in the oven, that maybe I had only imagined the second fish in the first place. I never asked my mother about it and after a few days I forgot about the other fish, taking my time to pick out a name for the one that was still alive. Her miscarriage was similar to the goldfish mishap — I tried, anyways, to make it similar to the goldfish mishap — in that when she told me the name she’d come up with for her second daughter, I brought my hands to my ears and shut them tight.



Anna Geary-Meyer lives in Berlin. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in The Superstition Review, Litro UK, the Olentangy Review, CHEAP POP Lit, and Virga Magazine. She was a finalist in the 2017 Bath Flash Fiction Award and in The Reader Berlin's Short Fiction Competition. She organizes and hosts the monthly event series Queer Stories at Another Country Bookshop.