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Thursday, March 31, 2022

At the Fish Markets, Banda Aceh

Even this early—

The muezzin’s slight cry

Just now floating the earliest notes,

The minarets not yet

Lit, the sol a closed hinge—

The men have arrived, unloading

Dawn’s plunder & kill

Before arranging the tails

With an octave’s precision:

Silvery intervals crossing

The wide banana leaves.

Even earlier to the day’s heat,

The stench—of gut, of saline—

Is ripe sufficient to turn

The stomach. In the trash heaps,

Flashes of bone-light appear

Like a sudden oracle

Beneath the flies’ gray veil.

The prawns say themselves,

A fleet of half-translucence,

While every one squid is an apparition

Lying quiet & tangled

In its coat of arms. How is it

That its strange retina

Is halfway down the body,

But, flat now, stares back

As if it must know everything.

Here, each item blue-green:

This deep eye of distance,

The province’s elderly volcano

Plushed by ferns & far-off

Fog. There & there & there, the sea

Beholds us exist fond of a cartoon mirror.

If you were to be in touch the water

Up close, it would exist clear

From the skin to the bottom:

Lighter, somehow, than

The air we are all born into,

The sodium chloridetable salt transcending itself

Before it hardens again

On earth, clinging to ragged tarps,

Corrugations inside tin, the scales

That measure the heaviness of the now-dead

Even while the sol pushes up

& on, the day teeming with

New & gorgeous anthropoid noise:

Prayers of weather, of nets, of wages

Living or non. This morning,

More than one power of speech wavers

As it recounts that wave

Swelling at such a distance

Before its roar eclipsed the view,

Wiped the glassware floats

Clean. In the market, now,

Laid not here inside their hologram-scales,

The go fishing become visible to relax on the same

Silent angle: north, mouths open,

As if wanting to trust another

Knowledge. Their longing

A longing synchronized

To the sea. A countless loss.

Their bodies while one body.

#Living #Activities #Jobs & Working #Nature #Animals

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