When I Was a Fisherman



When I cut bait, I knew the nets, their
ponderous sag. I didn't hedge or sweat.

You, faithful in your way, strolled the damp
quay, hands in your pockets, shoulders

rolled carelessly in a hunch. And they knew
about us, whispered out of earshot. Vessel

pulled in at dusk, you stoic, thin-lipped,
chin angling the horizon line. I'd spit, grind

at ear wax, wait with shuffled feet. You'd
stand a beer with distant mirth, a job done.

The singing, the sloshing of the door swung
behind you! You, you have ambled along

this port, these fog-shrouded waters, let
yourself in. But the tide draws out, tired.

The boys gather newspapers. I circle
the docks. And when you'd been gone,

irretrievably gone, the restless sea took
my weightless body.


________________________________________

Gregg Murray is assistant professor of English at Georgia State University and the editor of Muse /A Journal, as well as executive editor at Real Pants. Gregg holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota and writes regularly for The Huffington Post. You can find recent poems and essays in Caketrain, The Fanzine, DIAGRAM, Pank, Birmingham Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of Ceviche, from Spittoon Press.