The Tarpon
Joe Dahut

I grabbed a tarpon by its mouth,
looked down its throat

at the forbidden architecture, a world
unfamiliar and new, marked by failed escape.

Behind flaring gills, intestinal silks
snake through its belly.

If I’m being honest, I tried
so hard to be happy

for everyone but myself. I chased it
knowing it couldn't be caught.

The tarpon swims away
and the air boils in silence;

I am alone, a boy again
with a knife in my hand.
Joe Dahut is a poet, essayist, and teacher living and writing in the Florida Keys. He earned his MFA in Poetry from New York University, where he taught creative writing. Joe's poetry and prose is published and forthcoming in North American Review, The Shore, and Little Patuxent Review, among others. More of his work is available at joedahut.com.

View David Joel Kitcher’s selected works.

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