by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

they are shadow & water
defined into unsteady crescent moons
as they battle towards the sea

to return only themselves, their flaking
rusting selves
               I've been there 
                               but it wasn't to breed

and I couldn't return with the sea
to feed a black bear
                     or an eagle
                                  or rot to give life
                                 to dirt 
to trees I couldn't wrap myself around

                                       no, I survived
                                         and only fed
the kind of predator who leaves bodies
on concrete or hotel beds

                            I want to endure like the salmon
                             yet choose a different river
if I really have to leave the sea
if the oil doesn't catch me