IVAN WATERS

 

The Gillie’s Evidence

A gewgaw moon dangled. Midnight
over green shallows, sluice, and salt meadow.
The tide standing. I went there alone,
to the pools where

fry and smelt lie. I found the clammy creature.
Hair tortile, wreathed and red; belly
speckled
madder rose. Around her, lily leaves all splits

and tongues. Smeary carp sliding
under a gliddery
skin, horse-bruised
pink, orange and white. One fish

circled into its quick black eye. Its circumference
a baby's arm. Bladderwrack pricked,
gullies purled. She had no
pulse. I believe I heard a cry. I am sure

we hadn't met.
I deny these teethmarks
are mine; my mouth is clean. I swear I did not
use a blade. The sealskin found beneath

my bed; the bones, the charms,
the bridle. The letter
from the New Jersey girl to whom you will say
I once was wed,

with whom you will say
I swam. The depraved gape, the scarlet gash.
I have no knowledge of these,
the blue eyes in my flask.


First Place IBPC Contest Winner.