The night before each fishing trip,
his father let him stay up
later than the sun so the yard
might steep in dew and darkness,
and the worms might rise and stretch
themselves across the grass—
coral tassels glistening singly,
or entwined in a braid made
iridescent by their flashlight.

Long after, it wasn't the boat's
motor tremoring in the dawn,
nor the biddable sunfish
he sought to recall, but those
warm nights and the glint
of twilit life that slipped
from his hands like quicksilver,
draining through hidden holes
back into the earth.