“Three Shards”

At certain times of day the lure displays itself too loudly. Too proud the triple treble hooks, too bright the lacquered shank of snare flashing through a school of bass, an invitation pressed and passed. At times like this, it’s best to join those collecting stones and shells and sticks, reminders that we won’t survive even as we resist the pull to go beyond where we belong, like fish. Flat stones taken home, no voice or song, but strong, heavy playing cards facedown on a shelf for us to touch in comfort, not alarm—for that, we have the phone whose ring at certain times means just one thing.