This might be the one…
I used to love the water, you know.
You think I loved fish before,
but let me tell you something
about how a face looks
as it stares at you from the lake bottom,
as if waiting for you to revive him.
My cousin’s face is perfect surprise;
his hands sway in the water
as the death kicks in.
Déagol, cherished cousin,
he has my mother’s eyes,
that pale fishscale blue.
We are River-folk,
so when we fished on my birthday,
I was expecting presents
that could fill mines, or mountains,
my treasures that would make dragons jealous.
But Déagol stole the present I wanted.
When something is shown to you,
that even the mighty Eagles flee from it,
the thing feels like a gift,
bound in a bow of fire, forever.
It feels like you could live forever,
it feels like the fish
swim right into your belly,
filling it and filling it,
it feels like
you could command the world
in the blink of an eye.
There is a flash of fire
down in that water –
and how the fish dart around it
like stars in the night sky,
never noticing the beautiful
that must be kept.
And it must be kept.
And love is what draws the stars
to the ground.
Love is what draws our fingers,
our hands, our thumbs
to press voices into –
and then he falls
silent in the water.
And now he’s in the way
of my bait and my fish –
and the fish will not bite
unless I grab them first.
You see, fish flesh
melts in your mouth like magma food.
They squish and squirm
like worms in the dirt.
The fish are slippery, and fast,
and they dart around in the darkness
quicker than shooting stars, or fireworks.
There is a shine down there somewhere,
brighter than fish eyes
staring at me from the deep.
He won’t get it. It’s mine.
I dive into cold Autumn water
as my fishing rod goes overboard.
I will love this shine
until it becomes a part of me.
I will cover myself in this shine
so that the world reflects back on itself
and I am invisible
except for my screams of pleasure
that sound like dying,
I will –
I almost drown in the shafted light of the stinging water,
and my present shines like a polished sword,
cutting through the muck and mud.
I surface, almost screaming in watery delight.
I feel my fist aflame.
Where is the shore?
Where can I take this thing, this ring,
catch a brace of conies
and look at the fire inside the fire?
I must find the earth,
I must find a place amongst
the drought and the dust and the shade.
the softest bank of grass against my cheek.
Who watches me now?
Whisper the power to the bugs if you must,
to the tiniest fingers grasping for
I don’t need the boat.
I don’t need the river.
I don’t need my cousin’s hand
waving at me from the deep.
I will disappear into a family
of ghostly shadows.
I will become more.
I will become.