On a dark fish scribbled with pain I stand humid with boring mussels--a dockyard full of raspberried death blowing ink from the hand.
John sits in the grass and unwraps his pickle. No one is around to hear the crisp of the wax-paper unraveling.
John eats the pickle slowly and stares at the gold halo of the morning trees. The sun will come up and bake, bake, bake. John will be such a fresh cookie by the end of the day, a fresh, pained red-velvet cookie, artisanal.
Night is half an hour near. The sun is a pomegranate pressing against the crystal juicer of the stream. Superb, it bleeds, rippling. John packs his creel. John walks, swings arms, whistles oh so hard. The skin of the nape peels. Tonight mother will apply to him with cooling aloe.
From the dark bush, a stir and every ear is laid close to the baked ground. Red, red, red. At home mother will be dead. John, so young in his grief, will cool the fish in the fridge. The dog will lick her ears, whimpering, and at some point beyond worth father will arrive. If everyone waits in the kitchen, the kitchen will wait. The skin will continue to burn, motherless, now easily ignored, with bigger fish than fish to fry, kept in the dark malign fur of bad dreams.