“The Fish,” a poem, comes from my forthcoming chapbook, San Agustinillo.
I wrote it in the winter of 2020 before a pandemic sent the world into upheaval and my sons came home from school to stay. I had been working steadily on the chapbook, then set it aside. I’m now getting restless to return to it, and will.
I also published a brief story of the encounter my sons and I had with this fish on the beach in Mazunte, Mexico, in 2018. Read “Found: Sacred Fish” on the blog.
A bronze fish the length
of a man’s hand from heel
to fingertips, lies wide-eyed,
whole and breathless
on the beach.
Two boys squat and gaze with curiosity
then muster a ritual. A cleansing
in the sea, a burial
in the sand. Some thoughts
for the sacred.
When the call of pirate treasures
and fallen coconuts sounds once more,
it lifts the boys onto their feet
and away with awakened urgency,
the story of the fish riding
lightly in their pockets.