Silver Bonito: Encore*


Words walk off

when I wheel away

to fathom elegance

finessed so fresh in air

it lifts an unseen grace

inside aloft to face the sun--

like watching a silver bonito

split the wind jammer's wake

splaying the sky with diamonds

and missing the rise in my eyes

and an arm off the halliard

still shouting abandon at him.

Someday the walk-away

words will come home

when they find flesh to grow in,

and he'll leap again to surprise

my lips and shake another's

stillness loose--

that bright albacore

deep in the sounds of the self.


Jerome L. McElroy



*Accepted California Quarterly 25(2) (late 1998).