Capture and Release

My wife’s snoring—percussive inhaling, cello and bass on the exhale, an occasional hint of tuba—provides the orchestral accompaniment to a glorious entrance into an early morning dream: Elizabeth Bishop with her white-gloved hand perched inside the elbow crook of Mark Doty, allows him to deliver her to one red velvet chair in a large auditorium, before he takes the stage, makes himself comfortable behind a podium, picks up a baton, and begins to filet her poem, “The Fish,” reading from his own book, The Art of Description. Doty removes the bones she has so elegantly constructed, licks each one clean, polishes them, displays them for public viewing, before taking the time and care to reconstruct this masterpiece of nature, removing his fingerprints, his DNA, pretending nothing has happened. He returns to her seat, offers his arm, and they depart, an unearthly collaboration complete, as my wife’s breathing returns to normal, and I pull myself from bed, hauling a large fish in a net to my writing desk, and attempt to capture it before the release.

Jory Post lives in Santa Cruz, CA where he and his wife make handmade books and broadsides as JoKa Press. His work has been published in Chicago Quarterly Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Porter Gulch Review, and in the May issue of Catamaran Literary Reader. Post is the editor and founder of phren-Z online literary magazine, dedicated to showcasing the work of Santa Cruz County writers since 2011.

See more of his work in 7.2