Fishing St. Andrew’s Sound
Christopher Martin

Buzzed on Bud Light, I answer the captain
who asks if I am sick. No, no, I say, watching him
eviscerate a bonnethead, sling entrails to salt spray.
I’m good. Got a shrimp? Something got my bait again.

He cuts off the shark’s head matter-of-fact
as the end of a cigar with a blunt knife;
I watch as the fish gags, writhes, wraith
given up to the sound off Cumberland,
in a cooler where whiting gasp crimson.

I tell myself the queasiness is beer and breakers
as he hands me more bait, the shark’s head
now streaming to sand bottom, and remember
the shark head prints on my son’s swim shorts,
emblems for unanswered questions of what we are.
The body in the cooler convulses, and I cast my line
toward surf, hoping no fish comes to feed.


Previously published by Pale Ale Press, a literary blog featuring the work of emerging Atlanta poets

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