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LAST FISH OF THE SEASON, WINTER COMING ON
The horror of penguin belch frost
when the moon decides to appear
above a frosty Indiana farmfield
while in the barn the cows sleep snug.
It's so dark
you can hardly see the moonglint
on the tractor seat
parked way out in the dead corn
away from the road.
And in a frame house window, farmer children,
with simple moonglow on their caulked white faces
while late at night
driving to Toledo
with sad last fish
it begins to snow.
The wind is a steady freezer fan -
not a breath, but an iron bite of teeth.
Leaves are heaped against the house
are powdered with hard, dry snow
in the shadows.
They shake & boogie in the wind
like the dance of St. Vitus
or like a fish's fins
when you slack it over the brain
with the heel edge of a sharp knife
as though it were swimming now
not in water
but through heaven
with eyes like worthless coins
laying in your sink
waiting to be cleaned of meat.
I know a fellow who eats the fried fins of fish
like potato chips.
He says it's his favorite part.