Fish, Guts

By Blake L. Bell

My husband’s red locks shine underneath the half-lit horizon. He ties his change of bait, looks over at me confidently, and strides over to a new fishing spot further down the lakeshore. The rusted swing creaks under me as I smile back and wave. He recedes behind pines that hide the rest of the concrete path along the lake from the park. I have too much to confess.

Legs pump back and forth, up and down, out and in, all the ways my mother taught me to recite the movements when learning to swing on my own. Louisiana’s heat turns into a mild breeze on my forehead and cheeks as I move the air around me. Swinging makes me feel powerful, as if I am capable of change. 

I look through the bars on the playground equipment at my husband’s tacklebox alone on the wooden bench below the treeline. It might be the loneliest picture I have ever seen. He never catches any fish. I wonder if I could just freeze this moment, if I could move enough air to stop time, to hold the potential here.


Blake L. Bell is an MFA student at Mississippi University for Women and writes short fiction, drama, and poetry. Her poetry has been published in Formercactus, and her short fiction has been published in Typishly, The Font, and Crepe & Penn. Bell teaches secondary English and can be found in the local cafe working, reading, and writing, or at @BlakeBe69132596 and

Art by Lesley C. Weston (Digital)

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