Monday, November 24, 1980

SALMON DANCE

SALMON DANCE


After the first push of autumn rain,
the sand bar melts and like a woman,
the river opens to the thrusting salmon.
Volcanic blood flushes the skin
of this false spring and
mountains press hard against the clouds
that suck and lick at them.
The sides of the salmon flash lava-red
as they swim upriver to spawn in shallow pools;
tails scooping out hollows in the sand
where red roe ignites the ancient fires
and the slow combustion begins.
Squadrons of pelicans dive in unison,
their beaks brimming with fish.
Seal pups along the mouth of the river
leave natal waters for their first ocean swim.
The darkness of the Farallon Islands laboriously
presses down on the meniscus of the ocean.
With the naked eye, one can't see
how the San Andreas Fault stretches
toward the Ring of Fire
where the oceanic trench cuts deep
into the earth and lava leaks from the wound.
(when the abortionist's job is done.)

11/24/1980
rev. 4/1986, 2008

1988 Catalyst