The fall semester is slipping away from you. It has been both too short and too long, and sometimes you wonder what you have been doing with your days. Don’t you know that time is precious? Unrecoverable?
Didn’t you read that poem by James Wright? (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/177229)
It is December, finals week. Oblivion and another sumptuous sunset are on the horizon. Have you been squandering your days?
It is just past the anniversary of your father’s passing, and you are at work on a poem for him. You call it an ode to forgetting.
Among the many things you discovered about the first six months of grief is that it is voluminous and leaves little room for anything else. This, you think from the distance of eight years, is a superb defense mechanism. (At the time. you thought you were drowning.)
And, so, for this poem, you research everyday things people tend to forget: checking the mail; rolling out the trash; bringing their keys, wallet, textbook; feeding the fish.
And, you wonder how people could forget to feed the fish. Even when slightly hungry, most you’ve known swear they are starving, threaten to climb right out of the water.
The most common translation of “Meow” is: Hungry (although it sometimes has a clear demand: FEED ME RIGHT NOW! or else).
For a moment, you fear you are in a low-budget tokusatsu film, that a terrible threat to humanity is on the beach with you. He does not care about the sunset, about the beauty around him. He is the King of Monsters and intent on destroying the peaceful city that resides in the shadow of the volcano–and then, as if powered by nuclear radiation (or red punch), he turns to raze the volcano itself.