The Sunfish of Silverlake

Your airport-goodbye smile still glows on my skin
when I close the door and draw the blinds.

Since arriving I’ve written five love poems for the sun
but none of them light a room like your thirty-two ivory moons.

But I cannot shine. I just catch light and throw it back,
like the fish I pulled from Silver Lake when I was eight–

Grandpa held it out like a compass, squinted,
and said Sunfish. So I knew I had to let it go.

Last month I flew from your bed and landed
on a continent where I don’t have a name.

Now I live in a house with no mirrors but plenty of windows,
and it has rained every day except Sunday.

When daylight soaked the curtains and puddled on the floor
I slipped off my socks, dipped in my toe, and thought

about the hook in my mouth, and you,
across this ocean with a pole in your hand.

I know even shadows need the sun
to exist. As for me, I can only reflect.

Rachel Leonard is a bartender, freelance editor, and recent graduate of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. She holds BA degrees in Spanish as well as English, and plans to pursue an MFA in the next several years. Her hobbies include writing things, going places, and loving people.  Website:


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