Friday, April 8, 2022

A Pile of Fish by Tomás Q. Morín

A Pile of Fish

Six in all, to be exact. I know it was a Tuesday
     or Wednesday because the museum closes early
on those days. I almost wrote something
     about the light being late—; the “late light”
is what I almost said, and you know how we
     poets go on and on about the light and
the wind and the dark, but that day the dark was still
     far away swimming in the Pacific, and we had
45 minutes to find Goya’s “Still Life with Bream”
     before the doors closed. I’ve now forgotten
three times the word Golden in the title of that painting
     —and I wish I could ask what you think
that means. I see that color most often
     these days when the cold, wet light of morning
soaks my son’s curls and his already light
     brown hair takes on the flash of fish fins
in moonlight. I read somewhere
     that Goya never titled this painting,
or the other eleven still lifes, so it’s just
     as well because I like the Spanish title better. 
“Doradas” is simple, doesn’t point
     out the obvious. Lately, I’ve been saying
dorado so often in the song I sing
     to my son, “O sol, sol, dorado sol
no te escondes...” I felt lost
     that day in the museum, but you knew
where we were going having been there
     so many times. The canvas was so small
at 17 x 24 inches. I stood before it
     lost in its beach of green sand and
that silver surf cut with pink.
     I stared while you circled the room
like a curious cat. I took a step back,
     and then with your hands in your pockets
you said, No matter where we stand,
     there’s always one fish staring at us.
As a new father, I am now that pyramid
     of fish; my body is all eyes and eyes.
Some of them watch for you in the west
where the lion sun yawns and shakes off
     its sleep before it purrs, and hungry,
dives deep in the deep of the deep.

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