To Vardaman, my son (Anatomy of a riverfish) [Dylan Evers]


If I am a fish then you are part delta, one of many mouths. Silt, salt, muscle memory—carry my virtues, loose change & bitter pills.


Fish, like mothers, are finite—it’s the river that keeps going. I was dying before you knew me.


If I am a fish (which I am) the strands of your hair cast lines; the more I lash against you the more I bleed.


Have you ever seen a beheaded fish feint a soul?


A fish never asked to become a mother. Sometimes, you just point upriver and swim.


Dylan graduated with her MFA in fiction from the University of New Orleans in 2020. She lives in New Orleans with her family, including three large rescue dogs. She often gets mistaken for a dog walker.


image: Nikki Dudley