Snapshot of a Dead Fish

Jay Fairbairn is in the first year of her combined honours degree in Creative Writing and English.

They live in ice. It doesn’t stop the decay.

The eye stares like the congregation

stares at a sinner. I expect the

scales to feel slimy, but they’re rough,

uncut diamonds, the smell of the ocean

clinging, salty and unforgiving.

The gills smiles like they know something

I don’t, maniacal grin of a Batman villain.

Their scales are soft gunmetal grey

or dull sunset red.


It’s a different

kind of beauty to a woman in

a scarlet dress, but equally

arresting, I think, like

how their mountain-range teeth

are just as sharp as

broken branches of trees.