Mia White


Out of Water

"Goldfish Bowl" by Rebecca Cusworth
“Goldfish Bowl” by Rebecca Cusworth

UB Creative Writing and Publishing Arts MFA student Mia White reflects on the most frightfully surreal season of her young life.

Those shouldn’t be there.

I’m staring down at an urban puddle that contains a school of goldfish, only about 50 percent sure the fish are real. At 10 am it’s already almost 90 degrees and the puddle is evaporating; the tips of the larger fishes’ fins just break its mucky surface.

Fortunately, I’m right outside the decrepit warehouse where I live. It has a cracked foundation and haphazardly placed DIY windows; my parents called it “a dump” when I moved in. The first time I saw our space, it didn’t feel like a dump. It felt like solidified dreams. Vast and dark, with a 40-foot long mural of clouds and mountains along one wall, it seemed so beautifully grungy, so bohemian.