Baby duck imprints a mother
on the first thing he sees,

would stream through a lake
with a goose, bear, human

single dad. Glazed-eye after-
noon, red tide. Last seen

cutting parabolas in algae—
Still wet, his webs pockmark

the other shore. Algae closes
back, full green. Total cover.


The closest thing to perpetual
motion machine: cardinal fish,

salinated life. Sleeps eyes open,
current of salt and light incoming.

Heads into awake
as if chased, velocity of her bullet

body aimed at glass walls’ cerulean
view. For one taste of outside!

When you live in a fish tank,
any hot, white light is a god.


Casey Clague is a vegan, non-binary poet and activist from central Florida. They have been involved with Food Not Bombs and Black Lives Matter Tampa and co-founded Wake Up Tampa Bay, a mindfulness meditation group for people in their 20s and 30s.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.