Fishing at Night

Fishing from a dam that night
wasn’t in our plans. The moon was
new, and we had broken our
only flashlight weeks before
trying to free luna moths
from a glowing sign outside
a fireworks stand near the lake.

But there we were in the dark
with rods and reels we borrowed
from the people who begged us
to give the night another
chance. When casting under stars,
it’s best to cast once, and if
the bobber breaks the water,
leave the bait until morning.

Really, the bobber’s useless,
nearly indistinguishable
from a turtle’s head or trash.
We wadded worms on gold hooks
and let them sink into weeds,
roots, and mud. All night, our lines
hung slack as snapped guitar strings.
When we finally reeled them
in, our hooks were clean and bent.

Jordan Sanderson’s work has appeared in several journals, including Gigantic Sequins, The Oklahoma Review, Red Earth Review, and NANO Fiction, and he is the author of two chapbooks, Abattoir (Slash Pine Press, 2014) and The Formulas (ELJ Publications, 2014). Jordan lives near the Gulf of Mexico.