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