Evening Market
Rebecca Macijeski

Evening Market

Death is a woman this time,
and dying has never been more meticulous
in her hands. She walks through the market,
her heels a steady rhythm
on the pavement, a shadow among the colors,
collecting things. The ripe tomatoes
heavy with juice. The aroma of peaches
singing into the air. The beeping of the meat trucks
backing up to unload their sides of lamb,
pigeons scattering for seeds between the stalls.
She sees the big metallic fish lined up on ice,
gashed at the neck,
their gills flared open
like petticoats.
She sees the impeccable teeth
in the mouths of the fish.

Walking home, she watches the clouds
yellow out between the church spires,
the last of the sunlight
rounding along the vegetables.
Before long she'll be frying a trout whole
in a thin pool of butter, lemon juice sputtering
in the pan, setting the fish atop a bed of rice,
setting the table, steadying herself into a chair,
guiding her skirt as she sits,
using a knife and fork and her slight fingers
to remove and pile the tiny bones.

Rebecca Macijeski

holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has worked for Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry newspaper column and as an assistant editor for the literary journals Prairie Schooner and Hunger Mountain. The recipient of a 2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, she has contributed to The Missouri Review, Poet Lore, Barrow Street, Nimrod, and many other journals. She is Creative Writing Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Northwestern State University.