A catfish aroma woke me up,
Hungover, and sloppy, my beard over-whiskered
like the barbels on a catfish,
And rough, as if that fish had scales.
My Abyssinian had passed away.
I paused at his bowl on the floor
Scrap-less and vacant,
No paws to fish out the treats,
No hungry whisker reminders brushing my
ankles before coffee.
Beer with my brother last night,
Catfish and consolation;
Coors and cornmeal and spatter and sizzle,
Drunken yarns of fishtail stunts like the Rockford files,
Bicycles skidding by the catfishing pond;
Casting out and reeling in our dinner,
A bleeding finger stuck into lips and a boyhood hug
A barbed tiny tongue licking that outstretched finger
At the scent of the day’s catch,
Careful not to scrape the wound.
We fished the same pond last night,
Feted felines from faint memories,
A calico hooked on a catfish hooked on a fishing line
And one wide-eyed brother suspending them all;
Catnapped all night,
Awoke to that catfish aroma,
To come fish once more.