Each time he goes to work on the fish
he just reeled in 30 feet from shore,
an Egret moves in. I don’t add up the times
he shoos it away; by then
the air’s smothered it, and it’s lobbed back.
Both he and Egret stand,
as the fish verges into the knee-high mountains of waves
of its first world, then falls for a moment, not seeing
it won’t return where it’s going,
the salty air of its ‘forgetting’ sea.
and what occurs to me is
the mangy spirit of the young fox
standing in your driveway that day, breathing me in
even before it saw I was coming back again
to try one more time,
despite the marshy air of its rotting body.

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