Prairie Canto | Catherine Cobb Morocco
Catherine Cobb Morocco's first book, Moon without Craters or Shadows was published in 2014 (Aldrich). "Son's Story" from that collection won the Dana Foundation Prize for poetry about the brain. Her poems appear in The Massachusetts Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, CALYX, and others, and in collections, including Island Voices II. Poems of Monhegan (Stone Island Press, 2014) and Unlocking the Poem (Riccio and Siegel, Editors, iuniverse 2009). Catherine grew up in Vermillion, South Dakota and currently lives and writes in Newton Massachusetts.
I think he'll talk to me, if I can kill
and clean the bass I snared
fishing with him at dawn.
We meet the gulping wide mouth
and relentless eye, as its lake smell rises.
When I ask, he puts the mallet in my hand—
some pounding might reveal my harder self,
I thump the head just once to stop
its feeling place and mine.
He folds my fingers around the knife
then wraps my hand in his.
We place the edge against the neck;
press till bones crack and blood the color of mine
leaks, and he shows me how to disembowel.
Floating scales prism in lake light,
stick to my soles and cheek.
It's easier to slit a fish after it's dead.
Father lays it open, points for me
to lift the lacework: bones like pearl,
some thin as threads, fan from a spine
so supple, Father and can I curve and turn it—
this spring that hurls a fish up in air,
and spins it deep again.