Fishing with Liz

The waters in Rio
were abundant
with big groupers,
slippery catfish,
and snappers,
red and delicious.

I did not like fishing,
but doing it with her,
I learned to love it
and how to catch—
she cast the net;
I pulled the line.

A carnival queen once
and samba dancer,
I did not really mind
taking off my skirt
and the waves untying
my tiny G-string bikini.

Elizabeth was different,
folding her trousers,
dark maybe polyester,
and her buttoned shirt
worn by professionals
like girl school teachers.

I did introduce her
to chocalho shakers,
tamborim, its beater,
and loud snare drums;
she taught me poetry
of fingers and tongue.

One night in February,
in our deep-fishing,
our hook caught a tuna;
we shared the flesh,
tasted each other’s cut,
and ate all of it raw.

Above not far from us
were the hill favelas
and tall Jesus Christ
stretching His arms
as if quietly saying:
Welcome to Brazil.

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