Sunghwan Yoon CC
Dreaming of Fish
I was told once to be careful
what I said, words grow limbs, leave
icy tracks as they pace. You can throw salt
all day, but it’ll only streak your boots. Instead, I hide
them, leave them in the snow if they bare
teeth, pray frostbite keeps them quiet. Because
if I let them in, under pitch of night they drift
back to me, rattling like winter
leaves against the drywall, as they come
to open my chest, peel back muscle
and nestle against the wet throb of my ribs--
I know how easy that is, remember the white belly,
the knife I held after fishing that winter.
The perch kept to itself though, limbless
and cold as it was, silent as roe steamed
atop the Sunday paper—a waste. Much later, it crawled
to my bed, a trail of briny sleet in its wake.
Winter Roosts in my Heart
Each sunrise passes through
here, solitary and closed tight
against winter’s breath. Birds trill
along the wire’s length, asking me to join
in their song. I am useless
with pretty tunes, my throat a croak
of frog chorus that belongs
to summer though I hate
the heat. Whoever claimed envy
as green should see the shade
of blue I’ve become, opaque
and heavy as ice; above me
wings beat and brush against each other
softly, like the calves of lovers.
Lila Waterfield is a freelance editor, journalist, poet, and full-time procrastinator. She received a degree in English from the University of Toledo. Her byline has appeared in the Toledo City Paper and its subsidiaries, and she is the winner of a Touchstone Award.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.