Michael Schmeltzer
Fishing in the Time Stream

If time truly is a stream, not even the lamp
casting its net of light
can retrieve from that river
his wife. It pulls closer
mere bottles (beer, pills)
and a pencil like an oar he no longer paddles.

Moisture blurs the window in silver slivers
like minnows. The television flickers
from batter to pitcher
as a sepia picture of the woman
who once lured him to the city
casts a shadow
in which the old man basks like a fish
beheaded, gills opening & closing
as if still swimming.


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