Night Fish


On returning
I go fishing in
the family waters
only to pull out a
night fish with
soft father eyes
and soft father
lips who did
not want to be
caught or brought
to the surface or
made to feel the air
and my hook has
hurt him but I
am not brave enough
to touch his lips
to set him free
—his eyes are
shocked, seeing
what they were
not meant to see,
skin feeling
what it was
not meant to
feel—I cut
the line,
dropping him
into the water but
he will not swim
away, he lies
on his side
in the shallows
hurt—I kick
him into the
current as I break
my pole in half
and bury it in
the sands of


After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s  work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made short films with Michael DickesSwoon, and Marie Craven.



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