top of page


by Tucker Lieberman

You hatch in the water

but you are not that.

This migration: to deserve, to belong.


The more you try,

the same it means,

the deeper it settles.

You cast a net,

clearing space for yourself,

though all fish belong to the sea.


The feeling of movement is

the reason,

the feeling of movement.

The tension

between your island and that ocean:

that is where you are, where you must jump.

The gulf

between you and them—

the space that’s never filled

but with the skim of scales—

that is who you are.

You are what you try to catch,

you are what slips by unsnared.

You are the wave that snaps the net,

you are water unmarked by cords.


Listen to the bellowing whales,

ride the tides that buoy you,

cast nets, clear space,

ignore names to which you won’t answer.

Little fish, big ocean?

Your luminous dance that’s

not “swimming”—

how do you call it?

Your movement, your belonging—

Go, now—Go—


You are what you try to catch.

The movement is the reason.

You hatch, but you aren’t what wiggles.

You are water unmarked, settling deeper.

About the Author

Tucker Lieberman's poems are in Across & Through, Defenestration, Déraciné, Fruit Tree, Esthetic Apostle, Neologism, Oddball, and Rockvale Review. He and his husband live in Bogotá, Colombia. Twitter: @tuckerlieberman

bottom of page