by Lara Gularte,
Up to his thighs,
he pulls fish from the dark lake,
brings them to the light to die,
nothing slips away.
Some he jerks out of the shallows,
too small, so he throws them back.
Crazed for water,
big fish from the deep
wiggle and twist,
gulp air through their gills.
He cuts off heads,
splits them gullet to tail,
yanks out the life strings,
scrapes scales to skin.
Lemon, sliced down the center,
washed over palms,
between fingers, over wrists
to hide the smell of death.
He tosses the innards into the water.
What he leaves behind will meet the surface
like a bubble of air.
Like the jacket of the lost boy
last seen across the lake crying.
First published in Windfall, A Journal of Poetry of Place, Spring 2008.
Categories: poem by Lara Gularte