step: a catalogue of bones

by Lise Gaston


footless, the rock cod crescents
the line, arches its poisonous
back, gasping, we dance to
the heave, watch our steps
as the small boat rocks, horizon
steady while vision tilts, we simulate
balance, collective hands twist
the red fish off its barbed hook, all
head, toss it unblinking to
the surface where it stays,
stomach jutting past its teeth,
inflated casualty of the quick reel,
doomed raft waiting for some
eagle to strike without  a  note
of thanks, crash all claw
through the wake.

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