For a long time, I kept my fingers wiggling in the melted ice. I ignored my friends’ chatter and allowed the fish to kiss me. It was too great a thing to comprehend—that two different species could interact in a similar way. After my previous desire for koi; and after the rumors of an acquaintance in my film class; and after the humble garden clinging to the last threads of life; and after the long pilgrimage back to the fountain; and after taking a moment to record their shining scales; after all that, I was making a connection with these ancient, beautiful entities. It was as beautiful as any intimate moment between two can be.

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