Vulnerable salmon embryos in a streambed

are scoured, scraped, and washed,

with current and temperature,


wiping away our footprints with springmelt

and midsummer flow.

I see you weaving


this state into words, and shaping and threading

salmon bones on a dress,

carving cedar and yew,


painting the hollows of orbitals, even.

You dance in the dress,

finger the pages of the poem,


pull strands of human hair through the forehead

of the ceremonial mask.



of fins and blood, a minute scent of all

our creations remain.


You can still taste their flesh.