The thin mass of the line
casting out, caught, reeled in hard
has me thinking sliced,
a mask of blood pulsing
onto my cut palm, but it’s a trick.
I can feel the trough pressing back up
until there is no more hollow.
There is only weight to go on, not the line moving.
The bite is real, but then repeated illusion,
the way I sense the dock
moving on the lake
long after I reach land.
Eventually, the faint gleam when the little
ones pull, their lips stretched.
We throw them back and have to believe
the scales will grow again.
Everything is one of our stories.
If I keep remembering them,
then you still get to be part of the days
that keep coming one
after the other.
Then the water is just my body,
just the way I move over it,
as muted as the air.