Lessons, Nantucket Harbor

29 December, 2015 (12:09) | Elisavietta.com | By: admin

Surrounded by flounder,
salt in our hair,
my father and I kneel on a pier.

We’re sunburned after all day
in a small open boat.
I am six, my father – ?

He doesn’t seem old.
He is handsome, charming,
his moustache is trim.

How many women has he
already loved … I grow up
to love many men.

Does he ever wonder about
this part of my life … He tells me
of his affairs one afternoon

while records spin gypsy guitars
and in the next room, without warning
my mother dumbfounds us by dying.

At six, I worry only how will we clean
all these platter-shaped fish
whose eyes migrated topside.

My father takes a thin knife,
slits bellies, dumps guts
for minnows darting like bees.

Then he teaches me to filet:
grip the throat of the tail,
slice terribly close to the bones.