Holy Water   Karina Borowicz



              Careful, some pretty mean-spirited fish live in there. Their shedding scales flutter to the bottom like phosphorescent green snow. Many of them are bald in spots and haul bent tails. One even went so far as to press its lips up against the congealed surface, and they were ravaged with the broken tips of hooks. I glimpsed a simian, acne-pitted brow.

              I'm not afraid of the ocean, though, with all its moods: tantrums, fits of joy, meditative spells that stretch from horizon to horizon. But then there's this kind of water, choked by the city surrounding it, and with a mostly manmade composition by now. It lies still as a bone in the ground. Such stagnation attracts death. Even the birds circling it are on their last legs.

              It makes me sad to see people flocking to this place for baptisms, rushing to fill their leaky plastic bottles with a fake blessing. You can't talk them out of it; the most you can do is make a sign of disgust to counter their negligent gestures of reverence.

              Watch out: if that man tosses his match in, this place is going to blow.



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