Jozelle Dyer

The Fisherman

for Carl Ingram Dyer

My Papa ate the eyes
of the fish he caught in the Gulf
of Paria when my Mama served them
whole, suspended in broth,
in her wide soup bowls
with their scalloped, golden edges.
I imagined them rolling
around his mouth–beady-eyed
fish stares at his teeth and gums,
his palatial roof–before
settling on his tongue to watch over
the world, imagined he spoke
around them when he said,
“No singing at the table,” imagined
their delicious balance
when he said, “Jeanne, these children
have no discipline,” and when
he picked me up from school, and I lay
feigning sleep on the backseat,
I imagined the eyes-
winked and shimmered
as he lifted me into the house,
his fisherman’s hat
sitting high on his head, my small hands
catching the air.


Jozelle Dyer was born in Trinidad and grew up in New York.

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