A Goodbye from a Large Fish
Dan Gallik

Some time from now make time
to remember my sighs or, at
least, what they meant to your
emotions. I am big because I
rarely bit. In November when
the winds turn to ice think
of the few times I took chances.
Lake Erie, on our side, will be
wild and then will lull under
one clear, hard, tardy sheet.
Underneath, I will be a fish
with scars from summer’s larvae,
feeling too old to bite any lure,
waiting for quiet death as I
stay close to the bottom. I
have seen many hooks. Anyway,
few have looked pleasing to me
because of my fear of suicide.
Knowing another male would use
a thin, sharp knife on me, I
was afraid to bite. I notice
few males down here and we are
not as large and inwardly violent
as the females. They last longer.
My scales old, my eyes now stare,
my huge dorsal fin has scars
and does not flicker anymore,
and my teeth are browned and
split. And the moans that rise
within my mouth from my teeth now
stay there. I never cried for
you, do not for me. I found
my sighs meant little. Some
time from now I will not make
time to remember them, so I warn
you to forget my first sentence
here and do not put any weight
on my last deadening syllables
that travel the nulling water
and only mean poetry to me. Sinking
now, but, within an unknown period
of time, I will begin to float
with a pallor of baleful white.

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