The lesson is as simple as this:
the carving knife needs to dull itself
on the flashing armor of the fish belly.

If the garden were its own order,
if the weedy fields were what was wanted,
we would still live in the dangerous shelter
of Africa, stippled with a crude innocence.

Don’t rust over long years in the tight,
plastic sheathe of your self-imposed restraint.
So many salmon swish in the nearby sea.

You know, don’t you, that they decomissioned
Alcatraz years go?
As real as it seems, this holding is only a tour.

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