Night Fishers

Merridawn Duckler

Water against the pier like a throat click. The churned blanket of our childhood bed. Lines curve back and fly into dark. We walked down because you wanted to see a super moon over water. On the way we pass a child struggling to keep up with his fast walking father. Father, turn to him. Your child is more than you will ever deserve to catch. We stand and watch the blank horizon. One of us is romantic. One of us is a map of capillaries. The night fishers trawl for squid. The legal limit is seven pounds. They are jigging in dark to attract the light-loving eyes. Some are successful. The rest remain hungry. No moon comes. Perhaps your charts are wrong. Below us the large, intelligent Robust Clubhook, full of ink as a pen, crosses the sea floor. I am freezing. We are rocking. We give up on the moon. As we walk away it rises behind us, huge and gold, according to timetables only roundness follows. Now the light-loving squid bite. The casters stand between buckets, feeling providential and singular, finding food where they live. A cratered moon, in waves. Thank you for catching me. Thank me for catching you.

Merridawn Duckler is a writer from Oregon, author of INTERSTATE (dancing girl press) and IDIOM (Washburn Prize, Harbor Review) She won the Jewish in Seattle fiction contest and the Elizabeth Sloan Tyler Memorial Award from Woven Tale Press, judged by Ann Beattie. Recent work in Hobart, New Flash Fiction, Penn Review, No Contact, Cheat River Review. She’s an editor at Narrative and the international philosophy journal Evental Aesthetics.