vacuum sealer is loud on an otherwise distant Sunday morning

i stood alone in the shed of a man 
i befriended when i was 15 years old. 
he, allowing me access; his neatly organized shed, 
its faint smell of sweetness, marijuana 
and memory. drying pieces of coho salmon 
we, but mostly he, 
had caught a few days prior, preparing
them for the racks of his smoking house. i am
cocooned in a vivd roundness of undulating 
breath; the world around me 
blurred by falling rain, the river
we visited, full of Fall fish. coho and 
humpy and dog amidst exhausted yellow 
alder leaves. dog salmon growing purple and
green, their Fall colors of completion. pink 
salmon, growing humped back and hooked
jaw, as they flutter towards quiet beds of birth
and death. the wide speckled back of coho, 
flashing electric sea-bright silver amongst the tired 
and muted. the leaves right now, back 
in a Vermont of my peculiar past, they 
are ecstatic in their revelry of season; explosively 
they shed chlorophyll, insistent in their reminder
that failure is often fantastic. and dog salmon in river,
blooming bars of purple and green. and 
these memories swimming in our vivid cocoons, flashing
bright and brief. with practice we attain skill; aiming 
our hooks for that which is still firm and 
pulsing, hoping to keep ourselves fatted and warm. 

all around us fades with such splendid clarity. my friend 
has kept me warm with the quiet river of his love, 
through all my years of freeze and thaw. i had 
hoped to be brilliant in my failing, instead 
i am humped and hooked, enshrined 
behind bars. purple and green like
bruise. like fading bruise. 

my man Andrew

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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