Cropped old photo of ice fishermen.

Weekend Ice Fisherman

By Mark Abraham · Oct 15, 2012

Curled toes in thick books,
snails inching together for warmth.
Feet pointed at each other
like the head of an arrow, nodding at the hole.
In this cold lake’s cold his nails
look like fish scales. A winter’s promise.

Interfacing the exact circle,
the air sharp like razors in larynx, ventricle;
hands molded, kept, stuck around the the rod:
a jai alai autobot; a make-believe trolley;
that cartoon fish he loved as a child.

Nothing seems real in this hut;
he will kill that fish, therefore.
He stares at the porous water; the shape of the
dysentery pool is father’s mouth, rising.

The suit he wears to work is not
like the one father wore to church,
several tiny stripes upon which seeing
he was always slightly aroused.

He, thirteen, erection larger than any cross,
saw in more lucid moments how
father’s masticating on those wafers,
those circular discs that melted like holes on the tongue,
resembled the sounds of his pubescent orgasm.

His feet, which were always cold in church,
are now stuck; he is frozen at the hole,
tightly woven into northern air, perched
precariously above a pool of holy water.

He is erect; his father never took him fishing;
this is pretty much a diving board of faith.

You see him; you know his conundrum.
Just pass him a beer so
he will never have to follow this fish
into that Disneyland of incest.

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