by Sara Fitzpatrick Comito

No tag and pull, nothing approaching a downward
yank, just a dawning awareness of a heavy current
counter to the attitude of my rod's reaching tip. 

A partial reel to check, and as suspected, rising
in a mound, the turtle grass prop-sheared or dissuaded
by the brown algae, given advantage from runoff  upriver. 

Amidst those grey-green blades, a clown grimace
of grouper. It is an unexpected catch. The biggest fish
I've ever had on, and besides little rocky structure, 

I'm fishing from shore. The beachy slope
never draws such goliaths. My trudging revolutions
bring him near faster than reasonable. 

Is the thing swimming toward me? Ashore now,
the fish gives way to an upright form. Tall,
lithe, with flashing eyes, he speaks with apology in his

strangely accustomed tenor. We are together
until the turning of the tide, this new love and I.
In the morning, all the tourists are evacuated. 

A breach at the plant, for too long under wraps,
has been proven by the loudmouth researchers
to cause mutations among the sealife. 

The health effects to humans remain unknown.