When the Salmon Rots

Once I walked along Mallory Street with him

when the summer sun was still high in the sky at seven in the evening.

The ebbs and flows of laughter from backyard parties

crash on my ears like ocean water beating against the rocks.

 

We had so much fun at that bonfire on the beach, he and I.

The air in my nose was stronger than a salmon swimming upstream.

But if you stayed close enough to the growling fire

that smoky haze would cover you better than a fur blanket.

So I stayed close, tucked into him

dreaming of honey.

 

Against the black curtain of the sky

It was hard to tell the difference between

the fading flickers of a hot, red amber from a fire

versus his taillights fading down the road.

And then you realize it can’t always be seven o’clock on a summer evening.

 

Afterwards, once it’s over,

I still have these bug bite memories itching all over the skin of my heart

and I want so badly to scratch at it, just to give myself a few moments of relief.

But I know I shouldn’t go back there again with him

because a man who can taste the honey on my lips

and still want to go around tasting other beehives

did not deserve a palate at all.

Bug bites fade on their own anyway.

 

Once I walked along Mallory Street with him.

Now I walk it alone,

still dreaming of honey though.

Cause honey soothes all bug bites

and coats over foul salmon memories.

 

-September 2015

Photo Credit

 

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