Baptism by Night

A midnight shimmer,
the full moon’s shine lake-
side brings the alderwood
valley to false dawn.

A fish—unclear what
from a distance—leaps
from the water,
a suffocating quarter second,

trusting to (let’s say) a trout’s
arcane faith in gravity’s
logistical power,
buoyancy be damned.

Piercing the surface again,
an intimation of (re)birth,
as clouds wash over the moon,
returning the valley to sleep.

© 2023, 2024; first appeared in print in Honeyguide Issue 7, October 2023

© 2024. Recorded 15 March 2024: Evening with a Poet event at The MacMillan Institute, Duncanville, Texas.

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