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by naomi madlock

A glut of hemlock-green, the river

drags the last strands of daylight

over the crest of a droning weir,

describing the arc of a wine bottle

rolling on its side.

I dangle my bare toes over the edge

of the footbridge, waiting

for pipistrelles...

Something’s out there

on the water, winking like a falling

star amidst the nebulae

of diesel.

I clamber down and capture it

in cupped hands, its scales shimmering

like never before:


– the first fish I ever learned to name,

one summer when the river fizzed

with little gulping mouths.

Uttered now, the word

becomes an invocation:


– this limp thing

that spills back in, tail first,

and floats away on its side.


Image by Bree Anne
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