The social mirror

by Kevin T McEneaney

As a last resource, fish will count objects,

yet they prefer to employ other clues

like behavior, color, sound, or movement.

Some fish can identify music styles

from classical to jazz and even blues,

yet they can’t identify performers.

Fish can identify abstract patterning;

their lives depend on that ability.

The shape of their bodies is limited,

which restricts what they are able to do.

A cleaner wrasse passes the mirror test,

that is, they possess some self-consciousness

and tend to cheat less when they’re observed—

like politicians under scrutiny….

Kevin T McEneaney

Author of The Enclosed Garden, Longing, and other books