33

You with the knees of a fish,
You with the fish’s ears, the tongue in your round
Mouth that nibbles the sweet air,
You with a fish’s patience, on your side
On the hot planking of the keel, and the hook in your lip,
And your tail twitching like a bothered leaf,
And the taste of your own bleeding on the air,
                                                salt on the sweetness,
You with a fish’s voice, singing and still
Your aria, and the blue-silver flecks of light,
The water’s scales, breathing the breeze
Abundant and not for you, you with a hook,
Absurd, you with lidless mercuried eyes;
And the reel whistles, the tall man’s cast again
Directly into the sun, and waits, the rod twitches, he pulls
Another to flip beside you in the keel and to sing
Also, gruffer, the hook fixed in its throat.

Michael Schmidt

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