The carp in the Chinese restaurant
wear the faces of old men. They swim
entire lifetimes behind glass, circling
above colored rocks, wiggling below

a porcelain bridge that leads
to a plastic clam shell. There is also
a diver with a helmet, his hand is raised
as if signaling discovery.

He has dropped from a boat on the surface
where three red faced seaman
check for kinks in the air hose,
watching the rattling air compressor

with dutiful eye. One man is the leader;
he wears a stained skipper's cap
and leans out over the sun-bright sea.
He is aware of the strain of leadership.

He cautions the others to feed
the hose more slowly, having seen
the bottom before, the odd faces,
the strange stones, the bridge

that connects the slow moving fish
to his boat on an invisible sea.