Poem to California’s Dept. of Fish and Game San Diego Office in April 2006

Hand holds a telephone receiver up to a fish

I understand it is legal to let fish suffocate
instead of a merciful thump on the head.

I understand I can call my representative
to enact a law to treat fish with respect.

I understand you refuse to imagine yourself
as a fish or Native American.

I understand your silence and unwillingness
to continue this conversation.

I understand.


An actual conversation.



Scott T. Starbuck

is a Creative Writing Coordinator at San Diego Mesa College. His new poetry chapbook, Riverwalker, is forthcoming from Mountains and Rivers Press in 2012. You can see his clay art at The Spirit of the Salmon Fund, hear him read two poems at Fogged Clarity, or listen to his 31-minute interview about The Warrior Poems and Other Poems. His newest work is at Scythe and Untitled Country Review.

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