harvest of fishes

Things which have nothing in common cannot be one the cause of the other


I have in mind a story of the attempted rescue

in that little sail boat, on the darkening lake, by her rapist

and uncle. Sitting so far back in the stern

of the blue, the wooden, the boat

that a child-foot dragged in the water

the eye he couldn't reel in and the silence

the breaking glass of a whisky bottle as it falls

to rotting granite or a nest of steels meant to keep

the blade of discernment keen, the quiet shatter of a boy's arm

still scarred these 20 years

past his own father's blow, that boom in the evening

light punking past the horizon, night falling

island pines, a black whistle as the day begins to mortify

wind-brown hand reaching under a fish white sleeve

you think of death by water, the sharp teeth of pike

which, by happenstance, rip a femoral

lake an unseen pink stain, nocturnal minks

gliding into the dark without noticing

their unclean coats, eating little mussels

that once were children, that threw themselves from boats

couldn't swim fast enough or avoid the cold crush of resemblance


I have in mind your sister, not sober these twenty years

the flinch she still can't hide when you pass her chair on the way

to the cupboard, dark shadow of the dory where uncle's life died

left him, stranded molecular, cutting torches and enzymes

shaped to dismember his sister, or reality, the substance of it all

the irrevocability, death in a drowned liver or by pike

or just an accidental drowning on a summer's early nigh

First published in Caliban Online, Issue 23.

Published under the name A. Non.