Something Different from Either

One of us looks like the Fisher King,
the fog–moored curator of lost causes
solitary as a heron where the sky runs to salt,
a line in the water for any hope that happens by.
Our hands are cut with hooks and feathers,
the ache in our thighs
pulling like the brackish tide;
grief pearls our hair wet as a cormorant’s wing.
Then which of us can play the innocent
with a face as open as an unfilled cup—
Grail–questing, seeing the desolation
without pity or loss?
Tuck up our feet, wrap a coat tight
and watch the fishing, asking nothing
about scars:
the land is grey and tide–swirled,
not dead.
Let the wounded king tell you
how the curlews call through the mist
and take the rod from time to time,
waiting for a bite.

Sonya Taaffe

Sonya Taaffe’s short fiction and poetry can be found in the collections Ghost Signs (Aqueduct Press), A Mayse–Bikhl (Papaveria Press), Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Prime Books), and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), and in various anthologies including Spelling the Hours: Poetry Celebrating the Forgotten Others of Science and Technology, An Alphabet of Embers: An Anthology of Unclassifiables, and Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror. She is currently senior poetry editor at Strange Horizons; she holds master’s degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object. She lives in Somerville with her husband and two cats.

Photo Credit: Rob Noyes

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. You can register here.