waiting for the flood
piscium et summa genus haesit ulmo,
nota quae sedes fuerat columbis…
A family of fishes clings to the utmost elm,
once familiar as a seat for the pigeons.
—Horace (Odes, 1.2.9–10)
A fool might think they were beautiful, their white wings flashing in the sun, their rubid eyes sparkling. They are no longer content to perch upon the gutter, though, but settle on the window ledge, twisting their necks, writhing like serpents. They peer through the window, as though I were a fish in a bowl (easily dispatched), and seem to consider the top of the armoire as a prospective tenement. Soon they will want the entire room as well — cella nota quae sedes fuerat eudæmonistis…