Katherine MacCue


My grandfather eats the fish
then spits out one long bone.
It is a question: did he eat

the whole fish? Part of the bone?
Part of the whole, the wholeness,
the arrival, the full arrival –

I don’t mean the entire fish,
I speak to you spitting brine
out of my mouth. Wait, let me

calculate the distance between
my perception and yours. I give
up. It was salmon. Salmon

swim against the current.
I remember once, forgetting
how to walk, so I just

pretended I knew. I remember
being afraid to leave the
apartment because I might

forget something, like how
to walk properly. The bone is
the hardest part
                         to swallow –
the salmon make it

back to the place of their birth,
but waver among the dam-
ladders. I marvel at this, also

how, in that dream where
my grandfather is still alive –
pulls an entire spine out of his

mouth— it gives me such a sense
of direction, to know and see
that even in death, we still eat.

Katherine MacCue is a poet from NYC. Her first book No Timid Electra came out in 2014. She has been published in journals such as Word Riot and decomP. She is currently completing her MFA at Hunter College. You can find her occasionally posting some of her favorite poems at katherinemaccue.tumblr.com.

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