New Haven. A Promontory.

Alone at a bar
of piled stones and driftwood,
a grey fisherman tends
to his slack grey line.
Offshore, a tug groans
like a phone left uncradled;
unaccomplished waves,
unrelenting, slosh by.

The man,
wearing sneakers
has no swivels or sinkers.
Some hooks, a rod,
but no tackle-box.
Briny gulls dive at his paper cup
wallet. Cheap worms writhe.
He squints in the fog.

It’s a dim bar,
but for the gleam
of a few liquor abalones—
and most of these sucked dry
by last night’s
furious drunk.
Or rinsed, at least,
but left out
by the barman in his rush.

His table, the fisherman’s,
is gummed under with birdshit.
His barstool ignored
by the busboy’s kelp rag.
On his gray linen
sky, spotty with grease,
the crumpled border of the city
lies sauced in city slag.

 

Hayley was voted Hungriest in her high school yearbook, but back then she still thought she’d grow out of it. Send her some good recipes or some food for thought at hayley.kolding@yale.edu.

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