There are fishermen who pull stars from the ocean,
who gut them on deck while they steam
breathe the scaled-down light of fish sides.
Little mica slices lodge in the cracks of the hands.
No curse or grunt of a sailor can hide
moonlit silver on the grease as the angled
knife slides down and to the right:
deft plunges between feather-flesh. We eat
the sky. Pull it through our teeth, drop it
down our tongues. Bits of nebulae on
the plate. Our gravity drains the ocean.
So much is reflected. Everything viewed
through the microscope is already old. When
the suns glow with travel on the water
of this world, it turns beneath us
in great arcs. Fish soak in starjuice.
The moon hovers over boats. We bask
on nightly hillsides, or gather rock-like
shells on the beaches. Our feet sink;
sand swells between our toes. We open
our palms to the sky in the delta:
our dish for a rippling universe.
“AQUARIUS” published in Cape Rock, literary magazine of Southeast Missouri State/Missouri Arts Council, 1985 (prize winning poem), page 46
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