Clade Song 12 left

Clade Song 12

Walleye Carcass as Non-Fungible Token

I’m not here to tell you what rejuvenates,
but I know—a walk out to the pier
at Point Mouillee, a conversation

about sonations of swans,
parentheses and vocatives,
little lives along the way.

Your liver has regenerated
countless times over
and the blanched and frozen skull

is of an indeterminate animal
whose only thoughts centered
on lapping water mites

and unscrupulous predation.
It’s easy to kick
at the profundity of blunder

to turn over spiky rows
of unpinioned teeth,
but have you ever loved yourself enough

to posit a desire?
It’s a fish, not a bird.
The best spirits don’t leave

their corpses to watch you sleep,
yet you seem unconcerned
with the wandering of the worst ones.

The terns slash occultations
in the fog before the barrier isle.
The pilot house of the freighter

seems to levitate without a hull.
The joints groan like bulwarks.
In the Lydian modality of the wind,

there is a desire to interrogate
the offal. I’ve got less than one octave.
I look back at her just once.

Clade Song 12 Right

Cal Freeman is the author of the books Fight Songs (Eyewear, 2017 )and Poolside at the Dearborn Inn (R&R Press, 2022). His writing has appeared in many journals including The Oxford American, River Styx, Southword, Passages North, and Hippocampus. He currently serves as Writer-In-Residence with Inside Out Literary Arts Detroit and teaches at Oakland University.




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