Fishing from the Roof of the House

Jen Karetnick

This is no Hemingway tale.

The fish we catch are not fabled

and will not make our fortune,

harnessed to nothing more

than some jerk spices

and the bottom of a frying pan

liberally coated with oil

so the flesh will not stick,

as ours does to the sheets

we lie in at night

when the waves have quieted

like overtired children. We cast

sidearm, the way we used to

heave a baseball into mitts,

to avoid throwing the brims

of each other’s hats

into the ocean with the bait,

although this has happened,

and this is what we have reeled in:

sodden reminders of another life

when the mean seats of a marlin

stadium meant a blistered nose

for a couple of days and not this

flooded, floorless amphitheater

where the only entertainment

is skin after peeling skin,

eternal, infinite, varying only

in hit, fight and run.

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