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.