fishing line basinet
i remember being a trout.
how my mother wrapped me
in newspaper. headlines screaming
"today is the last day."
once, inside my planetary egg,
i was just a diarama. miniature
chairs & tables. bones the size
of ice skating rinks. children laughed
inside my walls. a tiny house
is built on the outskirts of town
underneath the waters of the susquehanna.
fish gather. my family gathers.
fresh eggs blink. there is a moment
where an eye ball can hatch into
a child. i cradled on all fours
to the surface. feathers in my throat.
writhing. the fisherman knitting cradles
for fish. the box of hooks.
he tests them on his own lip
& then does not know how to take them out.
i always wanted to be babied.
fed water as if i were truly
a gilled little girl. i had
so much trouble training my lungs.
now they still fill with moths
if i'm not careful. wearing a door
as a necklace. the fisherman is not
my father or my mother. he is a neighbor man
with hands the size of hamburgers.
i tell myself i love him
in order to make it to water again.
standing over me he becomes
tall & thin as a matchstick.
the word "guardian" wavering until
it is just a tin roof. what i am trying to say
is i was hoisted from the water
& asked to thank the hands that caught me.
knuckles & gardens of fish tails.
a nursery with a resident box of lures.
i could never just lay in the field
because a red mouth was always
dangling just out of reach.
come join me in my translucent cradle.
i am here to catch someone else.
wrap them in newsprint & tell them
exactly who i am.