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Poetry

The children fish off the dock
where the minnow-sized ones hover
oblivious to the hook jutting
from the badly threaded worm.
The water’s clear enough to watch
victims gather at the bait.
One after the other, hauled in,
tallied up, tossed back.
When the hook goes deep
into the throat, they give
the tiny fish to me, the one who,
on a whim, watched last night
a video of bodies flying
from the Towers over and over,
the camera following down
then returning to the top
to gather up another. There
it was, a YouTube next to
the one I’d meant.

Gently, now, I slide my palm
along the dorsal fin, gently
take the hook in hand
and twist in the open mouth,
oh mercy, the grating squish
of fish transformed
to flesh, which I hold
long enough, twitching its
blessed last, for my hands
to understand one more time
the fix we’re in, how utterly
they’re attached to me.


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