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Jonah Enters a Fish


by Arturo Ruiz


I cannot remember the way
you taught me to tie a fishing line,
a dependable knot.

Though my body is mine,
these hands are your hands
pierced & weeping.

I stand at the end of a rock wall,
cast a line to sea
as the horizon disappears, a sky exploding.

Disappointment. An overflowing ocean.
Boats run aground past our stilted house,
& children pushing stranded seals back to sea.

The wind that whistles
sand into patterns,
spelling out the names of the dead.

I'll paddle out a half a mile
to the outer reef, fast & hard—
believing it to be the way to you.

I'll enter the belly of a fish.
Inside it I'll forget dry land & your face.
Inside it I'll wait three years for the sun

to rise at the horizon of its tongue.

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