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Cutthroat Spawn

Saint Paul, 8 December 2005
 
When our compass of daylight pivots
To exceed night and floodwaters recede
A cutthroat is bewitched to her flank
Lashing her tail by compulsory currents
To summon weightless river stones

June's clear waters marshal her mate
Luring a courtship to her cubbyhole
He levitates in vernal musk above her
Then presses his body to her margin
Nudging and quivering to reconcile

Private penumbras illuminate her flesh
Arched head and tail bent skyward
She bids him to join her in the redd
Gaping into suspended shimmer
Then vibrating to shuck spring’s ribbons

He darts released to the mainstream
She hightails with parting gestures
Sweeping gravel off the upstream rim
Caching corkscrew codes into braids
Poised to gyrate like planetary spin