Stone of the Fish

STONE OF THE FISH

Sometimes
on the slip
of your tongue

or the well
of the kutsara

or maybe
on the ridge of the dry
gin glass

you will find it:
the bone of the fish

They say you should
be thankful
for its abnormal shape
and irregular curves

for it came to you
from the flesh of the fish

and it came to you
from the depths of the sea

and it came to you
on the current rushing
between these islands
like memory

It could have kept on swimming
could have kept right on going
but it chose your hook
or maybe your uncle’s or your son’s

who knows
perhaps the fish carried itself
and the bones and skin of its body
to your flame over the stones
of your house by the shore

your tongue feeling for stories
in the flavor of smoke and fire

Don’t worry
if you’re not sure
exactly what to do

the old people call it vatu nu amung
stone of the fish
and they say it brings luck
in an unusual way

From the chapbook, Stone of the Fish (Rosela Press, 2003)

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