Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Phoenix Issue, No. 16, Winter 2008
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LYTTON SMITH

Days After

I still see the way you ate fish here,
cupping a gilt-head bream so that moonlight
prisms glanced off its layered armour
to the candle between us. Your nails
had relinquished almost all the red colour
they had ever known: you cradled the fish
entire as your needle fingers diverged
your uses from its, glinting the tail fin
onto the rim of your plate for magpies.
At the disjunction of head and body
your glasses reflected a forlorn eye,
bones being mined. I hadn’t yet touched
the membranous oysters glimmering back.
You slit the bream along its spine
with continually sensuous gestures, as if
a prelude, and eased from miniature ribs
flesh silvered beneath the salt-coddled scales.
There seemed, finally, little left to give or take.