By Steve Kowit
JOY TO THE FISHES
I hiked out to the end of Sunset Cliffs
& climbed to the breakwater,
sneakers strung over my shoulder
& a small collection of Zen poems
in my fist.
that had sloshed out of someone’s bait bucket,
& that I came within an inch of stepping on,
convulsed in agony.
Delighted to assist,
I tossed it back into its ocean:
swirling eddies sucked about the rocks,
white pythagorean sailboats
in the middle distance.
Kids raced the surf,
a labrador brought down a frisbee,
& the sun sank pendulously
over the the Pacific shelf.
I shivered & descended,
slipping the unopened book
into my pocket
& walked south
along the southern California coastline—
all the hills of Ocean Beach
in the rouged light
of midwinter sunset.
it pleases me to think
in the western coastal waters off America
that minnow is still swimming.
Reprinted with permission from Sunshine/Noir II Writing from San Diego and Tijuana; Edited by Kelly Mayhew and Jim Miller