Amy Young

Catching Rainbows in Tres Ritos

 

It’s morning, and we 

land in dark, Sangre de Cristo 

dirt. Hearts race, mouths 

open, fingers and fins 

blacken and grasp. 

 

It’s caught, and my thumb fits 

between tiny teeth, opens 

jaws, tears out a hook. 

Small bones strain, the weak 

give way.

 

Slime and scales coat 

my palms, gum-up 

my knuckles. I wipe them clean

on denim; blue turns 

slick and skin thickens.

 

The rainbow, up close, frowns. 

White-bellied, and dull-

bodied, undersized and stiff-

eyed, it’s blood-

red gills abating. 

 

In the creel, its tail’s 

taut tics, beat 

straps and bait 

bottles. The tune drowned 

out by a ceaseless 

stream.

 

It’s caught, and I cast 

another line, heavy 

breaths at my 

side, each slower 

and weightier 

until the 

last.

Amy M. Young is a gardener, a poet, a painter, and one of those people who enthusiastically sings along with the car radio (even with the windows down). She teaches Global Cultures and English Composition at a college in Houston, Texas.

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