That day, we found a moon
of a fish, belly-pocked with
spots, on the lip of the shore. It
was still. It was gorgeous. We
did not know what to do. You
filled with manic hope, looking
for a banyan leaf to carry that
dying into the sea Lifting it as
its white scales drank within
them rainbows. When it fell
you picked it up again. When
the wave carried it and spat it
out again again you carried it.
We learned later it was a blow
fish, a delicacy some places and if
you eat a gram too much of the
flesh it kills you. I held you
that night. How I held you. I
beg you do not be furious
that I wrote about the secret
center between us now that we
are gone from each other. This
poem is at the coordinates of the
shining hole in me, which is you.
Nomi Stone is the author of the poetry collection Stranger’s Notebook (TriQuarterly 2008), an MFA Candidate in Poetry at Warren Wilson and a PhD in Anthropology at Columbia. Poems appear or are forthcoming in The New Republic, The Best American Poetry 2016, The Best Emerging Poets 2014-15, Guernica, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. She is currently working on Kill Class, a collection of poems based on her fieldwork within war games across America, and she will begin a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Princeton in the fall. Read more here.
*First published in Drunken Boat v.22, 1st August 2015.
Photo: steve loya