Gutting a Fish I was Given
I hook finger under spine and pull up, away.
There is a wet popping sound, and it reminds me
of the time my brother almost lost his eye,
or the time I lied about eating the frog,
and partially attached
to my bicycle tire.
Perhaps too personally
I remember that it’s been three years
since I’ve prayed.
I remember the time my brother lit a firecracker
under a banana slug on the Fourth of July.
It flew up and landed, too warmly, on my calf.
I think about the scream of bottle rockets,
the newly deboned cod slides into the spitting pan.
My favorite souvenir is an engagement ring I wore, but was never given. I wear it to remind myself that love and people are both very fragile things, and to treat them both with respect. The ring has always been a little too loose for me, which isn't surprising.
Pattie Flint is an uprooted Seattle native toughing it out in England binding books by hand. She has been published in Five [Quarterly], Hippocampus and TAB, amongst others. She is currently working on her PhD in book history at King’s CollegeLondon. Her website is pattieflint.com