Salmo salar

                    i. First, the Catch

Soundings scratching ribs speak of many deaths,
                    debts of mileage worn without g(u)ilt
singing of scrapes survived, former li(v)es lived,
                    li(n)es memorializing spoils
of experience, their depth worth chancing
                    annihilation if paid for
with scars, new life fil(l)ing in and thriving

                                        where predators’ rapacious lips
                    once had kissed him, their razors stripping from
                                        existence its burden of flesh,
                    exfoliating layers of living,

                    ripping legend’s storied pages,
victory (t)his whose skin is thickest, the(se)
                    scales of (t)his weighted in silver
catch streaks of light, breaking a sleepless night’s
                    fishnet of shadow, (p)lacing tight
(r)evolutionary f(r)actions of time’s
                    tarnished tallows, (th)rowing off harm’s

                    amber sparks, while tides spinning (t)his tale tell
                                        of a hea(r)t harder, and hotter,
                    than a coal sought after, and fought over,
                                        in a world lit only by fire,

as together fistfuls of dark timbre
                    clamour with dawn’s (si)new(ed) (t)issues
of (g)listening ga(u)ze, a river’s placid
                    Saturday mo(u)rning surface stirred
by (t)his world’s swift and relentless current,
                    (t)his defiant purpose to shed
its (c)rippling expectations, its blindest

                                        reliance on codependence
                    and other unfulfilling myths, echoes
                                        whose hollow repetitions lack
                    heroes, promises of hope pledged without

                    conviction, eliciting (t)his
glare(s) of electric tears, charging above
                    society’s eyes and ears to
gather what sense of daybreak can be made,
                    snuffed candles of constellations
burning out fast and blowing up hard as,
                    enduring the (sco)urge of untold

                    eternities, milky ways of stars film
                                        them waxing and wa(r)ning, (b)lur(r)ing
                    heaven’s reflection while salting the rim
                                        of its looking-glass wounds, licking

the (w)horizon, rolling over (t)his same
                    place as pain does cradle and grave,
discriminating against neither as
                    it parts legs to bring forth, and take
back into the whore-mouthed (h)earth, what nature
                    creates, (t)his same place where chaos
birthed him, (s)pawning courageous insurgents

                                        whose resistance to injustice
                    distinguishes them, (t)his formidable
                                        species of liberty’s brethren,
                    destined by duty to return to her

ii. Then, the Release

                    pool of maternal influence,
the secret route to the sweet nourishment
                    of which he can (t)race in (t)his vein(s),
swimming its lanes of polygenetic
                    reminiscences of ancient
origin in an ocean of linked chains,
                    st(r)ains of intuition troubling

                    him as, from the unrepentant embrace
                                        of the (c)row(d)’s feigned stupor, he wakes,
                    c(o)ursing upstream of them with crazed vigour,
                                        sperming with grunting haste into,

through, and past their underperforming schools
                    of swirling colours dropping out
of (t)his race, st(r)aining water rivaling
                    glass, a chasm separating
him from what imprisons them, (t)his mind’s p(l)ace,
                    indefatigable and fueled
by fiercest indifference to public

                                        opinion, impervious to
                    it, a(r)moured and (w)armed as he is with such
                                        steely determinism, strength
                    anathema to their fatal gospel

                    of unquestioned adherence, faith
unchallenged chancing its abandonment
                    and collision with him, when (t)his
worldly erudition compr(om)ises
                    dogma’s d(r)owning principles, when,
going intercontinental, he gets
                    so ballistic and miss(il)es their

                    missal(’s) t(w)o brimstone(d) bits, apocryphal
                                        and AWOL, he commences (t)his
                    mission, as by choice he consents to (t)his
                                        long-dormant inclination, by

(t)his creator’s hand (p)laced in him before
                    (t)his sent(i)ence, a bomb ticking
with impatience, a big bang’s flash waiting
                    in the lobby of (t)his little
bo(d)y, a bea(s)t in the belly of (t)his
                    prophet (t)racing against all gods
to (t)his origin, refusing to serve

                                        any of them, to their doctrines
                    of divisive destruction fervently
                                        disobedient, uncertain
                    of its Eden as he undertakes (t)his

                    pilgrimage to (t)his genes(is),
Pisces (t)his Libran(’s) ascendant as, like
                    a leaping salmon, he rises
above superstition, going again(st)
                    its undertow eating away
at reason, t(r)ipping imbalance in (t)his
                    fortune’s favour, leading the way

                    for those who reap the fruits of their mind’s own
                                        labours, those eremitical
                    ki(n)ds whose wealth abounds in wisdom not found
                                        in the (c)row(d), but thought’s spawning ground.