We live on fringes

and we are drawn

together as if we have

intimately known

the other some time

a long time before

and can’t quite remember

when or how


It’s lovely — really —

this magnetism we

have for one another


Floating in the chaos

of this world, we find

those who ring familiar

and we circle about

flirting and feinting 

at real contact


These are moments that

I cannot deny

when someone else

has spoken in a tongue

I truly understand

though I am uncertain of why


I just know it


I know you


I just do


And the hairs on

my arms and shoulders

begin to prickle-raise

from the flesh

pointing in your direction

drawing me towards

that inevitable force of you


She lived, for a time

on the fish she caught

bathing thin fillets

in cornmeal flour

from her stores

pan fried them until the

spongey, translucent flesh

transformed to flaky snow

white beneath the

crust of batter


When she had first arrived

the fillets had been crudely cut 

inexperienced severing


of muscles


and organs

But she became more adept

with task and fish

as time passed

her hand grew steadier as

it repeatedly guided the knife

began to understand better

the unspoken rules

of their anatomy 

combed through

the architecture

of these creatures

with her blade

so often that it became easy

nearly instinctual


There had been a time when

she had known another’s body

in this intimate way

memorized the baroque design

of flesh above knees and elbows

become accustomed to

the sway of back

curve of neck

lived for long moments

among the ladder of ribs

and notched column of spine


But she was forgetting that terrain


time was allowing

that slow

gradual reprieve

She had become

obsessed with fish

and the infinite intricacies

of learning how they

lived and died


She didn’t have much use

for other people now



He loved me — or I assumed so 

since he never said as much out loud

It was a feeling I had

because that’s all he gave me 

no words or declarations

outpourings of lovely verbiage 

He was too quiet and

too spartan for such extraneousness

The most I got was the occasional, “Baby”

when he needed something from the fridge

the remote for the television

or my easily-bruised knees to part

But there was a feeling there 

at least for a time

Then again

I suspect this was just me

willing it to be there with all my resolve

I can’t be certain at this point