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to wait and want

ISSUE:  Winter 2022


chicken breast soaked in vanilla, 
aluminum foil and leather doused in WD-40,
one day on a pack of green apple bubble gum. 
lured a large swirl around a grapevine, lead to a plastic bag 

and a ring. with KFC wedge fries 
caught a slew of medium blues. hot dogs,
raw bacon, clams (i whisper to the shells when no one 
is watching). ivory soap for the prize.

i ask a lot of questions, my father’s replies come
formed in clicks and whistles off his spinning reel. 
when fish guts are considered, i heed advice,
the oilier the better. if you fatten the current it rises. 

cooked turkey tails, freezer-burned salmon roe, 
starburst, moldy swiss cheese, coagulated 
cow’s blood chunks wrapped in panty hose,
drumsticks, scented candles, big john’s baked beans, 

this silver boat, unmanned, will drift toward my father’s 
gates; for this is his realm and i look spit out from of his mouth . 
i bear two horns. one tumbles with offerings, both are woven
of the invisible richness between our hatch and match.

garlic and chicken skin, spam, marshmallow,
eggs and toothpaste, blackberries, mulberries, and
cherry-flavored chicken: cuts of raw bird chilled
for several days in vibrant kool-aid marinade.

stale blueberry glazed doughnuts, slim jims, goldfish, 
and jelly beans. some folks even use opossum.
dough balls of every variety are always popular.
one woman tells me anglers spit on nightcrawler backs. 

does every child dream himself a prince? i watched my father
rig and tackle dark things he thought the evening hid 
from my eyes, cleaning foul stuff he couldn’t eat.
his small smile can make blood dense and iridescent. 

remember the most effective bait is hunger and calmness.
wait for the trick to take, holding the knowledge 
to want is to wait. grip the burden of dreaming,
we are still discovering the bounty, this lonely cistern.

i am a misplaced half-god of lake and blue hour.
i have not emerged too late from my father’s sutured thigh.
delirious as we are to know one another we bask,  
dumping strange potions into the depths.



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