Sunfish

 

The whole fish is a head.

The whole head is a face.

The whole face in your hand.

 

Sunfish.

 

As cold to the touch

As the gods must be,

With the eyes we carve

In the faces of gods

Who gaze in the infinite distance.

 

Sunken Polynesian treasure!

 

The fish touched by Midas

And then van Gogh:

 

The molten flakes

Of a shattering sunburst

On seascape olive and blue.

 

And the patriotic tricolor

Of the brilliant earspot!

 

What facepaints

On this freshwater tribesman

Who worships the Sun!

 

Who encounters the Sun

In the unbreathable heavens,

The unswimmable strangeness above.

 

He followed a worm

Through a wormhole

 

To a parallel universe

On the other side of the lily pads.

 

Show him the mercy

May another show you

 

On the other side of the stars.

 

Unhook this breathless shaman.

Unhook this palm-sized god.

Let him go!  Let him go!

 

A toss and a splash

And he's a fish in water

 

Like a fish in water

 

But even more perfectly speechless:

 

He's discovered water.

 

In a rowboat on your boyhood lake,

Drifting over

Its moonscape of nesting bream,

With liquid arrows

From the lake's quiver

Launching all around:

 

To think that below you

 

Is an entire galaxy

Of spectacular sunsets.

 

A blinding convocation of sun-gods.

 

A Mayan seminary of solar priests.

 

A California gold rush of sunfish.