Fish spread on ice like an arc of dealt cards,
the seafood cases at the grocery store
make nightmarish aquariums. Stopped bodies
on frozen water. The silvery skin bounces back
all kinds of light. Fish is what they are called
when swimming, and when scooped from rivers.
Their own name, fish, is also the action by which
they are undone. To fish, to bring what cuts
through the water out into the hot noisy air.
It must feel interplanetary, getting fished out,
yanked from your world into another one.
They are born for this, someone once told me,
in a voice warmed through with reassurance.
It is easier to think of this way, death. As less
of an interruption, a yanking. Put purpose
into their fate, unavoidable verblessness.
Every moment has brought them here.