That first day, when the water was clear
and the line sank to the sandy bottom,
it was your hook that pierced the fish’s mouth,
your hand that pulled him panting to the deck.

How could I know what I wanted?  I was young
and already you turned from me in the night,
preferred the cliff at the edge of the mattress
to my arms, the lumpy straw to my own

dark caves.  All that hunger settled in my belly,
so when you came home empty-handed,
with that tale of a princely talking fish, you
frightened me.  I saw only sorrow

in the lines of my hands, only old stains
on my marriage bed.  You should have heard
the longing in my eyes instead of the words
that fell like stones from my lips.

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