“The Nets” by Eric Basso

Eric Basso


with loose links
the nets divide
square parcels of sea

each forms a window
frames green depths
and muddied clouds

the blue fisherman
can’t see what’s trapped
when he tugs at the line

he’s cast his nets for ghosts
lost ones he hopes to haul
from an endless sleep

sometimes he mistakes
a reflection of the moon
for a drowned face

he goes down to it
puts his lips to its ear
as the water fills his mouth

begs forgiveness for all
the things he could not do
to spare it from oblivion

from Rattle #15, Summer 2001
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