Lurebait

A bucket of strawberries. Tipped over and splashing into the river. Bobbing on the surface and each a lure. And the fish biting off. The ends of them.

Bloodholes growing in the lips of the fish. The fish stabbed in the brain by the fishhook. The twisted up wires of fish brains.

My dead sister curls her finger like a hook. She stands at the front of the boat and catches herself. Over and over with her hookfinger. She stretches her lips and sticks.

Out her tongue and does a dive into the river. And she goes down deep and she is gone. For a real long time.

She puts her toes in the mud on the riverbed. She could plant herself there. The river is a desert with its life.

When she comes back up. My dead sister brings a fistful. Of worms with her. She says look I found. A bunch of river tongues. She stretches the worms. As far as they will go. She holds one end of a worm and I hold the other. And she jumps it like a skiprope. She stretches the rope so thin. And wraps it around her hand.

My dead sister with a spool of fishing line. She casts it into the river and she says. Catch.

by A.T. Grant

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