The Fisherman Walks Between Worlds

The wife? She is gone. The mansion of her dreams? Diminished every day in the mist. The gravel driveway is still there. I tend to each stone, unpolished gem in a scattershot setting. Green plants humor me and send out leaf after leaf or flags of color that I try to decode. Each day I walk to the riverbank to see if the fish has returned. In my head, I turn over and over like a coin the words I once heard someone say: what comes to your hand when you call becomes yours to tame. How did she even know about the fish? But I remember the night I first laid eyes on her— She wore a dress the color of smoke. The light fell on dark waves of her hair as she punched keys on the cash register. Young then, and brash, I motioned to her with my hand. She gave me the merest look of disdain. I barely remember how it changed and I became vassal, emissary. Every lover exchanges the world of reliable surface for one with overlapping seams. I believed I would serve best by pleasing the other. The gods darted in and out of the shallows, fish-tailed, quicksilver. I spoke to each of them in turn, delivered their messages: the beloved on one hand, destiny on the other. But who will translate the sounds I make, my cries?

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