Our words seem to form in the clouds,
like rain against the weeds,
for they are still tied to the land,
and they insist that water is a metaphor.
So when a frog jumps clear,
the sound echoes so sweetly in
the lake, it might be a huge
illusion, its allure, a bell of thought.
The fish strikes. A bass, glistening,
a line runs out, taut and miraculous.
The fish has caught nothing more than
a nest of hooks, our lure.
More than that—
Poor thing, how could it not
know that it was meant
to leave existence today?
It weighed two pounds, three ounces, dead.
Alive, its life was as long as
a pencil’s width, or a crayon, smudged
blood-red and submerged, and lost—
The solemn food, our words for them are
words in salute to the clouds. We praise them
so the fish will spawn again. All clouds end in rain,
and rain is tears. The earth fulfills .