Something Different from Either

One of us looks like the Fisher King,
the fog–moored curator of lost causes
solitary as a heron where the sky runs to salt,
a line in the water for any hope that happens by.
Our hands are cut with hooks and feathers,
the ache in our thighs
pulling like the brackish tide;
grief pearls our hair wet as a cormorant’s wing.
Then which of us can play the innocent
with a face as open as an unfilled cup—
Grail–questing, seeing the desolation
without pity or loss?
Tuck up our feet, wrap a coat tight
and watch the fishing, asking nothing
about scars:
the land is grey and tide–swirled,
not dead.
Let the wounded king tell you
how the curlews call through the mist
and take the rod from time to time,
waiting for a bite.


Sonya Taaffe

Sonya Taaffe reads dead languages and tells living stories. Her short fiction and poetry have been collected most recently in the Lambda-nominated Forget the Sleepless Shores and previously in Singing Innocence and Experience, Postcards from the Province of Hyphens, A Mayse-Bikhl, and Ghost Signs; her chapbook As the Tide Came Flowing In is forthcoming from Nekyia Press. She lives with her husband and two cats in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she writes about film for Patreon and remains proud of naming a Kuiper belt object.

Photo Credit: Rob Noyes

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