Enlightenment in a can

You squeeze yourself into
A sardine can,
Warm, dark, oily, with a
Strong sense of fish.

Quiet, they said.
Silence, they said.
If they hear you,
If they see you,
If they as much as smell you,
Then who knows what.

And so,
Living in a sardine can
You’ve avoided the distant cell
In favor of your hyperlocal gulag,
Every once-in-a-while
Cracking the lid to
Relieve the stench and to
Steal a breath
Even at the risk of
Getting your head bitten off.

Now, a sardine, despite being a vertebrate,
Is not particularly sophisticated,
Primitive even in comparison to a skunk.
Which begs the question:
Does a sardine deserve enlightenment?
And if it does,
Does it stay a sardine?
In other words,
What sound does enlightenment make
In a can of fish?



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