A new poem by Jerry McGrath

Jerry Dreams of Codfish

The first two years were given over
to study of opercula and gills,
the next to forward fins both pelvic and pectoral,
the why of where they were, instead of aft,
so near the head, made mine own spin.

As for the anal fin, its delicate frottage
of Neptune’s salty business
consumed another three and threatened
defilement of the spirit.

A modest year to nares (nostrils of the deep)
flattened and vestigial, robbed me of sleep
and pressed upon my soul with fierce pronouncement
a proximate pair of eyes whose cloudy depths
were marbles in disguise.

Scales I studied, three years of life annexed
to skin-deep script, left me a lunatic,
a stranger to prayer, and stranger still
to what was or wasn’t there.

The spiny dorsal and soft dorsal fin
to me spoke of two natures in one kin,
one barbed, one burnished, a cousinate of woe
to one who tried three years and did not know
an ounce of understanding from their flow.

Don’t speak of mothlike caudal (the tail),
its end and nearly mine. Three years of study,
brokered in the brine, brought me to a narrowing
termed peduncle, slim-waisted joinery
of pedophile and uncle.