Fisher

She lived, for a time

on the fish she caught

bathing the thin fillets

in cornmeal flour

from her stores

pan fried them until the

spongey, translucent flesh

transformed to a flaky snow

white beneath the crust of batter

 

When she had first arrived

the fillets had been crudely cut 

inexperienced severing and hacking

of muscles and ligaments and organs

But she became more adept

with task and fish as time passed

her hand grew steadier as

it continuously 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 and curve of neck

lived for long moments

among the ladder of ribs

and notched column of spine

 

But she was forgetting that terrain

finally, 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

 

 

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