Wan oxymoron of a fish, dotted dun and fledge winged, mud-feathered when it glides through silt, by nature bottom fed. Whoever named it named himself a man of undisputed Christian eye, who saw in mortal depths a guardian and humblest trumpeter. God tongue to cry, it haunts an earth too dread for dread- filled man til rapture calls: Arise and fly.
Published by American Poetry Journal, 2004. Copyright © 2004 by Hailey Leithauser. Used with permission. All rights reserved.