Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rocket Fish


In the boat at dusk, alone. I lean out over the wooden side. Over the oarlock. I look down into grey-green water through which I can somehow see into the depths. The lake is calm, silent. When I lean out over the boat it doesn’t move. The water is undisturbed. Looking down I am horrified to see a giant fish swimming up at me. It lights the water. It’s mouth is a perfect circle. It swims upward in a straight line without moving its tail. This is a rocket blasting off from some underwater Cape Canaveral. My face is directly in its path. I am a target. It comes for me. I jump back and fall against the other side of the boat, my shoulders and head out over the edge. The boat is about to tip. I know that this is disaster. I cannot go into that water. The fish. The fish. Through my fish-eyes I see stars. Dusk has given way to darker night. I pray. I pray to the fish. The fish. My heart thunders. The boat rocks hard. My feet find purchase under the edge of the boat. I hold on. I hope. And the boat settles down. Splashes hard into the water. Without disturbing the still lake. I lie back against the side of the boat. Wondering. The fish. I’m afraid to look down. I look up, but there is only darkness.