Seduce fishwife with bigger question mark.
— Subject line, spam email
So they came to me, one by one, that
early market morning, each man hoping to take
me by surprise as I was setting up, my broad
hands wrist-deep in ice.
Don’t waste my
time, I told them, tossing my long
eel-shiny hair just so they could
see what they were missing,
knotting my sealskin apron – dark
as a patch of night sky – snug over my
Still they would
clamor and fawn and insinuate, still
question, always question, where do we
come from? where are we going? why oh
why oh why? and what is to be done?
bigger, harder, probing,
After a while I stopped
listening. They would get
bored, I figured, or sleepy, step
out for coffee while I had
buckets to tend, whole deep tubs flashing
anchovies sudden as daybreak, sardines
teeming silver at the brim, littlenecks
nudging the bucket’s
mussels, hundreds of
mussels to scrub, beards to clip, black shells clacking their single
not why not why not
dripping, glistening hands.