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