A Fishwife’s Song of Incredulous Burn

**This piece has also been published by The Hopper Magazine

Fiddle fiddle and fire
cows the moon. Yarrow
and ash in cracked rock.

Night netted in smoke, and I wait
for you to love me. In passing,

snow turns mottled black, fire
truck tracks cake a blacktop.

cut-throats wheeze air and I wait
a consuming fire
on the mountain top.

In snow, scorched seeds spike with fever,
uprooted fireweeds stand—
I am waiting by a roadside singe.

You defy grasp—
in your belly — coals, smoke
taken in, a cough
lights bright the circuit of a fish’s gonads.

When soot grinds your gills
you laugh, wait— I’ll touch you
in runaway streams,
I’ll count the glints on your coat of arms—
wait— short shrift water holds

a mayfly to your open mouth, I spoon
for fish in flame, fiddle fiddle
I spoon in empty brine.

A roasted moon extends
your stroke: the flip of tail,
the wait. Scorched mouths swallow,

empty vesseled,
night’s crisped bows
reflect on plated ice —

About the Author

Ravitte Kentwortz is an immigrant to the US. She started writing poetry in English late in life. She represents those older women who have not yet learned to use their own voice. Her poems appeared in Bare Life, The Minnesota Review, The Portland Review, MARY, Posit, Caliban and others.