Chelsea Mize

They belly sideways
Swiftly moving out of frame
Soft silver unders
Beneath the surface of the shallow pond

Dressed in white linen
And a floppy, flesh-colored fishing hat
Am anchored at the edge
Pale bare feet slippered in mud
Dangling from my all-elbow arms
The skinny pole
Rusted, wrenched from the shed

Hook in lip,
He is caught
A slender centimeter
Balanced mid-spasm
At the end of an invisible line
His movement stunted
His glazed eyes shocked and dry
Foreign air infiltrating his flared gills
Sunlight prismed on his scales

Corner-eyes crinkled
Am smiling
White, unorthodonticized teeth bared
In a fit of bliss, which passes in a flash
And then
I try to let him go


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