At a Horseshoe Bend in the Rogue
A salmon leaps up, wholly out,
floats a half-foot off the surface,
every drop on every silver scale
a different shade of shining sun.
Quick as it rose, it goes back down
through currents, upstream. It leaves
behind spreading rings, waves, a tide
of light that doesn’t reach the riverbank.
It’s easy to imagine a fish would
want to breathe the warm of sunsets,
dream of leaving its water, risk
the weightless pleasures above,
easy to pretend its eye, before
it drops from sight, holds mine, a moment
of universal speech, shared struggle
against dark waters, the quiet of night.
Life passes at the speed of grief:
every morning another sun,
every night a different darkness.