Elegy for the Fish I Killed

August 18, 2013
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I murdered a fish today,
Were my thoughts stark naked
In the mesh of night and road,
Shivering in the pre-September winds.

It was as good as dead anyway,
Because there was the fishing hook I had strung up with a worm,
That I had removed of its foolish attachment
Unbeknownst to its shrimp-like child fisherman,
Who is apparently stronger than me,
As she gazed upon that hook so dispassionately
As it pierced through the eye-socket of the sunfish
The eye itself was no longer under control of said fish
And gleamed dully, reflecting the broken light
From the overhead riverside tree

I am a murderer,
I whisper into the depths of my Trader Joe’s English Breakfast tea.
I am a murderer.

I tried so hard, so freaking hard,
To free that hook
As the deep bass of my heart and
Quickness of breath betrayed my insanity
And my trembling hands could hardly handle it
As in and out of the bucket of dwindling oxygen it went,
Wriggling, flexing its gills in midair when I suspended it,
And at that point I felt the part of a drunk surgeon
Who hadn't operated in years
Whose patient was about to die

I am not a surgeon, I am a coward.
I’m a coward, so I ran pelted up,
Calloused soul crying out as the
Calloused soles of my bare feet slapped against the rocks and roots
My hands my handling hands still smelt hours later-
Of worm guts and river through the
Layers of hand soap and cream and moms expensive perfume,
My tell-tale hands still reeked

They still reek
And it's probably still alive right now
Because Catie cut the line,
But it's as good as dead half blind
With a hook in its lip and a little orange belly

How was my day?
Oh it was positively grand, cause I killed a fish
How about you?

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