Black Sea Bass
in a cooler filled with ice
night we were out of power
storm. Its skin was gray
reached inside, not the way
pulled it from the ocean.
yellow tips of fins stretched
raised to where my brother & I
over the side of a head boat.
talking about the future.
other brother was suffering
hangover somewhere in Blacksburg
week of engineering classes.
werenít him, & we didnít know
was he really wanted, though
whatever reason, I wish he could
been with us as fish appeared
nowhere. The storm came through
night & ran a finger along the cityís
lines, as if playing guitar. Primaries
loose & danced on sidewalks
the music of fire pounded onto roofs.
morning I went into the backyard, spread
covering stories of the storm,
scales with a blade and gut the fish,
its hard stomach out. There,
slit it open, I found three baby crabs
have swallowed whole, still filled
blue & green bending on their claws.
reminded me of a time my brothers & I had spent
Ocracoke, when we waded in parts of the salt marsh
young blue claws darted out from clouds in the water,
bodies disappearing into the clear, inevitable distance.
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