by Stephen Hundley

Six feet long,
and rolling.
          Slack in the chop
          after forty minutes on the line.
                      Reach and find
                      a surprise.
Happy to break small bones
          hand and wrist.
                      See the dogged smile.
                      Old soldier’s grin.

We keep a gun for such as these.
          Press barrel to spade,
                      the gore like pollen
                      light on the wind.

I wonder if beneath black water,
and perfect body,
          cat’s tongue skin
          on cold cast-iron,
                      there is a current
                      all too human.

A fish like this:
you have to bury the head
like a snake.
          There will be grey steaks
          with cracked black pepper,
          necklaces for the children,
          bait for the crabs,
          and the dogs will worry what’s left.


Stephen Hundley is a former high school science teacher.  He
currently works and studies as an MFA student at the University
of Mississippi.  He also serves as an editor for
The Swamp
literary magazine.  His recent work can be found in The MacGuffin,
Driftwood Press, and BULL.  He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.   

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 13, Number 2
(Fall 2018)

Copyright © 2018
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.