Poetry

Fish Ladder

Photo: Wonderlane. CC-BY.

please let’s not pretend we don’t know
what it means when all the salmon have died

nobly. that we are only just now discovering
their bodies in Pike Place Market

gutted, splayed, sun-
bleached with early afternoon. that when

the sudden season came over us, displacing
we did not ask the mountain to turn its back

or compare the streets to veins. that we
did not see at the unzipped jackets, gleaming

on plastic grass, and remind ourselves
of fish skin. how acceptable we are.

that our needle is not ironic, or a finger pointing
always skywards. that my father

did not say seattle is god’s country in summer.