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Reeling Back the Saffron

ISSUE:  Autumn 1983
Heat incubates: memories hatch
rapidly as fish roe. Hello to the gold
circle pins in blue Peter Pan
collars, the jaundiced
belly-up of Woolworth turtles
trapped in lacquered shells, the doll
with an up-do the color of cologne.
And hello sun: a touch-
stone caress continuous
as breath. In this weather
the lungs could bellow
their simple conviction
forever, reeling back the saffron
raft that held me, a morsel
above the lake’s gullet, summer blood

sugar rising with the sweet
cream-filled cones. These nights,
banked between damp percale,
I face the odd fish
by my side & say hello.

He holds me as if I were
a small body stocked with exotics,
where rainbow wrasse grew filmy
negligees in shallows
black as inner tubes, and leather
carp ground their teeth under
easy, opaque waves.


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