Elizabeth Oxley

Driving West, I Eat Swedish Fish

Tastes like fruit, not fish.
     		Motto of Sweden's fish-shaped candy, 
     		exported to the U.S. in the 1950s.

O candy fish, where is your home? They call you 
Swedish, but you hang in cross-country gas stations, 
embalmed with Red #40 inside a London shop 

near St. Paul's vaults, tombs like marble butter dishes
hunkered on the floor. This morning, I seek you 
at a Nebraska truck stop where the coffee is "FRESH 

AND HOT," church services held at 8 o'clock 
inside the television lounge. Have you ever longed 
for strong currents, dreamed of tributary or stream? 

I know how it feels, tiny fish, to be drained of wonder. 
Three hundred more miles to Lincoln. Rest now 
beneath my windshield’s field of glass. Remind me 

light grows inside even those who can’t see. Glow 
like a poor woman's ruby, and I'll name you beautiful
every mile, after mile, after mile.