Watercolor by California artist Steve Santmyer

He pulls the
hand cart
out of the back of the truck
I don’t know the parts and
pieces that make a fishing rod
but the old guy is fitting piece into
piece into piece
the way I imagine a gun
would be assembled
and this, no less lethal
if one is a fish

Bottom-weighted with an
ice chest
bait box
lawn chair

one more day amongst the living
spent killing, maiming
it all feels good
against the ripple of blue
blue sky blue ocean
fog bank kept at bay by
thousands of spiraling seabirds
off the pier

it all feels good from above

bottom weighted
the ocean waits
it will survive him
everything will
reefs and jetties don’t live
by rules hard and fast
survival is neither a given
nor necessary in any grander plan

we are the rule makers
we are the hard and the fast
the old guy fishing is a rule
maybe a broken one
either way
the ocean, bottom weighted
will win

Monalisa Maione

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