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Category: Poems

The Fish Hatchery

Published in The Lake (



Fish Hatchery

My but we were lovely, captives
and all. Each day the witch
would dress us up. She was keeping us
for herself. And we kept to the fish-
hatchery, where shadows stacked
their troubled hieroglyphs. We read
the ripples in water-filled tank
where multitudes of fingerlings
thinned to nearly nothing. Each
day the witch would dress us up, twist
our hair into ringlets, bangs pinched back
with plastic barrettes. Oh, we were lovely
until we held our own, asserting no more
taffeta dresses, no more ringlets,
our arms across our chests in defiance,
my foot booting the cat.

Summons 2022


This is my cutting board. These

are my hands adept at cutting. This

is my chicken whose neck I’ll sever.

My cutting board floods with new 

geographies. I pluck my fingers of blood. Who

knows a woman’s aim when she swings?

The word-hands of the world lay wreaths 

at the serifs of despair. Who says 

it can’t be done? The potted

chicken boils and bubbles,

my poem, with time, rights itself.

This is my cutting board.

These are my hands.  What happens


when it’s over remains,

this indenture to memory. Today, taste of your skin

suffices. Salt enters the bloodstream.

Don’t take me for a mad woman or shrew. 

All day I’ve stirred. Yesterday, the river over-flowed 

as we reclined on groundcover. 

May I? May I, you’d asked. The river answered.

Already, I swoon in recall

of the Yuba, its fluctuance, its greed. He almost


swallowed me with his fame,

but I’m a sound woman and kept in mind:

I will, by sheer will, one day equal or surpass you.

Such belief is how a woman survives the Dominate.

That’s why my rock finally threw its punch.

You only lack character if you want to, said the priest.

Just ask the rock at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

I’ve since learned to enter rock with my breath.

I’ve always been fond of the hard.