we stole fish from the ocean,
butchered, threw them back in pieces
on hooks. the two of us: me and daniel with grease in his hair
on a dock that reached out
into the water like a man with broken arms
wood rotting in his arms. daniel
with oiled hair, with a throat like a lighthouse, with a mouth
like black water. sometimes i think all he was
was eyes. the kind that roll up into the skull
like a map that will burn before they show you water.
fish don’t have throats to cut, so we stabbed
wildly. my first knife, bright as a smile, sectioned their seizing
bodies. my smile, my knife.
daniel and i. worked with no care
for their anatomy, for the proper way to make them
open. perhaps, our forearms touched
as guts spilled into our upturned palms
as we slid hooks through their skins
as we threw them back in
and pulled out fish that looked just like them
as if the ocean had pieced them back together.
that night we slept
in his mother’s house. in the dark, i ran my fingers through
his hair, brought them to my face and tasted salt.
i wanted so badly
to be a knife then. to take him
apart in pieces. to throw him back
in the ocean.
or perhaps, i wanted to take him
into my mouth, to feel something sharp
break inside of me,
to be pulled up
into the screaming air,